Ultrasound techniques in the evaluation of the mediastinum, part 2: mediastinal lymph node anatomy and diagnostic reach of ultrasound techniques, clinical work up of neoplastic and inflammatory mediastinal lymphadenopathy using ultrasound techniques and how to learn mediastinal endosonography
Ultrasound imaging has gained importance in pulmonary medicine over the last decades including conventional transcutaneous ultrasound (TUS), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), and endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS). Mediastinal lymph node (MLN) staging affects the management of patients with both operable and inoperable lung cancer (e.g., surgery vs. combined chemoradiation therapy). Tissue sampling is often indicated for accurate nodal staging. Recent international lung cancer staging guidelines clearly state that endosonography should be the initial tissue sampling test over surgical staging. Mediastinal nodes can be sampled from the airways [endobronchial ultrasound combined with transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA)] or the esophagus [endoscopic ultrasound fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA)]. EBUS and EUS have a complementary diagnostic yield and in combination virtually all MLNs can be biopsied. Additionally endosonography has an excellent yield in assessing granulomas in patients suspected of sarcoidosis. The aim of this review in two integrative parts is to discuss the current role and future perspectives of all ultrasound techniques available for the evaluation of mediastinal lymphadenopathy and mediastinal staging of lung cancer. A specific emphasis will be on learning mediastinal endosonography. Part 1 deals with an introduction into ultrasound techniques, MLN anatomy and diagnostic reach of ultrasound techniques and part 2 with the clinical work up of neoplastic and inflammatory mediastinal lymphadenopathy using ultrasound techniques and how to learn mediastinal endosonography.