The records of all patients who underwent TBNA at the University of Alberta Hospitals, Edmonton, Alberta between February 1996 and February 1998 were reviewed. A total of 96 patients with computed tomography (CT) criteria for significant mediastinal adenopathy (defined as any node greater than 1 cm in diameter in the short axis), hilar adenopathy or both underwent TBNA. Three patients had two separate bronchoscopy procedures with TBNA because of initial negative results.
Bronchoscopy procedures were performed by staff respi-rologists or pulmonary residents under direct staff supervision. TBNA was performed before the examination of the bronchial tree, and one to three nodal sites were aspirated using an MV 222 cytology needle (Mill-Rose Laboratories, Mentor, Ohio). The aspirated specimens were smeared and fixed in 95% alcohol. The TBNA specimens were interpreted by a cytopathologist and considered positive for malignancy when unequivocally malignant cells were present in the specimen.