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What is an Endobronchial ultrasound?

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a medical procedure that combines bronchoscopy with ultrasound imaging. It has become an important tool in the field of respiratory medicine, providing valuable information for the diagnosis and management of lung diseases.It is used to examine and obtain images of the airways and surrounding structures in the chest, specifically the lungs and mediastinum (the space between the lungs). EBUS allows for real-time visualization of structures that are not easily seen with traditional bronchoscopy alone.

A vector diagram of a EBUS procedure

Why has an EBUS been suggested?

  • Locate and biopsy lung lesions:  EBUS allows for more accurate targeting of suspicious areas, facilitating the collection of tissue samples for diagnostic purposes.

  • Staging of lung cancer:  By visualizing nearby lymph nodes and assessing their involvement, EBUS helps determine the stage of lung cancer, which is crucial for treatment planning. 

  • Evaluation of mediastinal masses:  EBUS can be used to assess masses or abnormalities in the mediastinum, aiding in the diagnosis of various conditions.

What happens during this procedure?

During an endobronchial ultrasound procedure, a bronchoscope is equipped with an ultrasound probe on its tip. This allows the physician to see detailed images of the bronchial walls, adjacent structures, and nearby lymph nodes. EBUS is particularly useful in the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer, as it provides a way to assess the extent of the disease and whether nearby lymph nodes are involved.

Safety considerations

Endobronchial ultrasound is generally considered a safe and well-tolerated procedure. Your doctor will review the specific safety considerations with you before the procedure.

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