Diagnostic value of blood clot core during endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspirate

Emily N. Amin, Christopher D. Russell, Konstantin Shilo, Shaheen Islam, Karen L. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is being increasingly used in the sampling of pulmonary masses and mediastinal lymphadenopathy. The blood clot core (BCC) often obtained during EBUS-TBNA may not be a true core and therefore may not be submitted for histological analysis. The frequency in which the blood clot core is positive in patients with negative cytology undergoing EBUS-TBNA is not known. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic role of the blood clot core obtained during EBUS-TBNA. Methods: An Institutional Review Board-approved retrospective chart review was performed from January through September 2011 for all patients who underwent EBUS-TBNA at The Ohio State University. The data collection included cytology and histology results for each procedure. Blood clot cores obtained from the EBUS-TBNA needle were sent in formalin for histological examination. Results: Seventy patients underwent EBUS-TBNA and 51 (72.8 %) patients had procedures that yielded a BCC for histology and aspirate for cytology. Forty-nine percent of patients with a BCC were diagnosed with malignancy. Of those with a BCC obtained, five (9.8 %) patients diagnosed with malignancy were done so based only on the results of blood clot core alone with negative cytology. Conclusions: Blood clot cores obtained at EBUS-TBNA contain diagnostic material and should be subjected histopathological examination. When blood clot cores are sent for analysis, there is the potential to spare up to 10 % of patients more invasive diagnostic biopsy procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Core biopsy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound
  • Mediastinal lymph node
  • Mediastinal staging
  • Transbronchial needle aspiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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