A novel biosimulator based on ex vivo porcine lungs for training in peripheral tissue sampling using endobronchial ultrasonography with a guide sheath

Tsukasa Ishiwata, Takahiro Nakajima, Jiro Terada, Koichiro Tatsumi


Background: Although radial probe endobronchial ultrasonography (EBUS) with a guide sheath (GS; EBUS-GS) is widely used for sampling peripheral pulmonary lesions (PPLs), a standard training model for EBUS-GS remains to be developed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a novel pulmonary biosimulator for hands-on training in peripheral tissue sampling using EBUS-GS
Methods: We established a novel biosimulator for EBUS-GS using porcine lungs. The simulator was equipped with multiple pseudo PPLs that were created using blue agar solution injected through GS inserted in a bronchoscope. A total of 12 voluntary trainees participated in a hands-on training course using the biosimulator. The size of samples acquired using biopsy forceps were compared between initial and post-training biopsies, and trainee satisfaction with the biosimulator and training program were evaluated using a questionnaire.
Results: Under the guidance of a trainer, all trainees successfully detected pseudo PPLs using radial probe EBUS before the initial biopsy, and 11 trainees acquired samples from the target lesions during the initial biopsy. Post-training biopsy samples were larger than the initial samples for eight trainees. The results of the questionnaire revealed that all trainees were satisfied with the biosimulator. Moreover, eight trainees who had previously participated in another hands-on EBUS-GS training program involving a synthetic phantom model showed greater satisfaction for the biosimulator.
Conclusions: A hands-on training program using the novel biosimulator assessed in this study could aid clinicians in improving their skills for EBUS-GS and acquiring larger peripheral tissue samples using biopsy forceps inserted through GS.