European Geriatric Medicine

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 263–267 | Cite as

Diagnostic utility of conventional transbronchial needle aspiration in older patients

  • Sevinc Sarinc Ulasli
  • Deniz Koksal
  • Oguz Karcioglu
  • Elif Babaoglu
  • Sevgen Onder
  • Salih Emri
Research Article



In older patients, diagnosis and initial treatment should be considered as soon as possible because of high disease burden and complications. Conventional transbronchial needle aspiration (C-TBNA) is an important and safe method for the diagnosis of mediastinal lesions and staging lung cancer in the general population. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic utility and complications of C-TBNA procedure in older patients aged ≥ 65 years.


We retrospectively evaluated C-TBNA results consecutively. Demographic data, clinical, radiological and flexible bronchoscopy (FB) findings, complications during C-TBNA and incidence of diagnostic C-TBNA with the presence of abundant lymphoid cells of polymorphous appearance both in patients aged ≥ 65 years and in younger patients were determined.


C-TBNA was performed to a total of 317 patients, including 109 older and 208 younger patients attended to our clinic between 2012 and 2016. The mean ages of older and younger patients were 70.3 ± 4.6 and 52.5 ± 10 years, respectively (p < 0.001). Overall, 75.2% of older and 80.3% of younger patients had diagnostic C-TBNA. The diagnostic utility of C-TBNA did not differ significantly between older and younger patients (p = 0.297). During C-TBNA, one older patient had a complication of bronchospasm, and four younger patients had complications such as bleeding (n = 1) and bronchospasm (n = 3). There was no statistically significant difference between older and younger patients in terms of complications during C-TBNA procedure (p = 0.49).


C-TBNA is a safe procedure with similar diagnostic yield in older patients.


Elderly Conventional transbronchial needle aspiration Diagnosis Complication 



No funding was received for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the local Ethics Committee of Hacettepe University (registered under GO 16/616). All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

For this retrospective study formal consent is not required.


  1. 1.
    World Health Organization (2015) Ageing and health.
  2. 2.
    World Health Organization (2011) What are the public health implications of global ageing?.
  3. 3.
    Turan O, Turan PA, Mirici A (2017) Parameters affecting inhalation therapy adherence in elderly patients with chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma. Geriatr Gerontol Int 17:999–1005CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kupeli E (2015) Conventional transbronchial needle aspiration in community practice. J Thorac Dis 7(suppl 4):256–265Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ulasli SS, Kupeli E (2014) EBUS-TBNA: popular but not universal. Respirology 19(2):288–289. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ulasli SS, Gunay E, Akar O, Halici B, Koyuncu T, Unlu M (2014) Diagnostic utility of flexible bronchoscopy in elderly patients. Clin Respir J 8(3):357–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Evison M, Crosbie PA, Martin J, Bishop P, Doran H, Joseph L, Chaturvedi A, Barber PV, Booton R (2014) EBUS-TBNA in elderly patients with lung cancer: safety and performance outcomes. J Thorac Oncol 9:370–376CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bonifazi M, Zuccatosta L, Trisolini R, Moja L, Gasparini S (2013) Transbronchial needle aspiration. A systematic review on predictors of a successful aspirate. Respiration 86:123–134CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Vitale C, Galderisi A, Maglio A, Laperuta P, Di Crescenzo RM, Selleri C, Molino A, Vatrella A (2016) Diagnostic yield and safety of C-TBNA in elderly patients with lung cancer. Open Med (Wars) 11(1):477–481Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yang H, Zhang Y, Wang KP, Ma Y (2015) Transbronchial needle aspiration: development history, current status and future perspective. J Thorac Dis 7:S279–S286PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Toloza EM, Harpole L, Detterbeck F, McCrory DC (2003) Invasive staging of non-small cell lung cancer: a review of the current evidence. Chest 123:157S–166SCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    van der Heijden EH, Casal RF, Trisolini R et al (2014) Guideline for the acquisition and preparation of conventional and endobronchial ultrasound guided transbronchial needle aspiration specimens for the diagnosis and molecular testing of patients with known or suspected lung cancer. Respiration 18:500–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Öztürk Ö, Sandal A, Karahan S, Er B, Önder S, Köksal D, Maden E, Emri S (2016) Diagnostic yield of conventional transbronchial needle aspiration biopsy (C-TBNA) without an on-site cytopathologist: experience of 363 procedures in 219 patients. Tuberk Toraks 64(2):137–143CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tutar N, Büyükoğlan H, Yılmaz I, Kanbay A, Onal O, Bilgin M, Canöz O, Demir R, Oyak FS, Gülmez I, Cetinkaya E (2014) Learning curve of conventional transbronchial needle aspiration. Clin Respir J 8:79–85CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pulmonary DiseasesHacettepe University, School of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of PathologyHacettepe University, School of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Pulmonary DiseasesAltinbas University, School of MedicineIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations