Navigational transbronchial needle aspiration, percutaneous needle aspiration and its future

Sixto Arias, Lonny Yarmus, Angela Christine Argento*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Peripheral lung nodule evaluation represents a clinical challenge. Given that many nodules will be incidentally found with lung cancer screening following the publication of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), the goal is to find an accurate, safe and minimally-invasive diagnostic modality to biopsy the concerning lesions. Unfortunately, conventional bronchoscopic techniques provide a poor diagnostic yield of 18-62%. In recent years advances in technology have led to the introduction of electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB) as a tool to guide sampling of peripheral lung nodules. The same principle has also recently been expanded and applied to the transthoracic needle biopsy, referred to as electromagnetic transthoracic needle aspiration (E-TTNA). An improved diagnostic yield has afforded this technology a recommendation by the 2013 3rd Edition ACCP Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer which state that "in patients with peripheral lung lesions difficult to reach with conventional bronchoscopy, ENB is recommended if the equipment and the expertise are available (Grade 1C)". In this review we will discuss the technology, devices that are available, techniques and protocols, diagnostic yield, safety, cost effectiveness and more.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S317-S328
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Electromagnetic bronchoscopy
  • Lung nodule
  • Transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA)
  • Transthoracic needle aspiration (TTNA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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