Journal Information
Vol. 53. Issue 11.
Pages 655-656 (November 2017)
Vol. 53. Issue 11.
Pages 655-656 (November 2017)
Letter to the Editor
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Core Needle Biopsy Versus Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy in Diagnosing Lung Cancer
Biopsia con aguja gruesa versus punción aspiración con aguja fina en el diagnóstico del cáncer de pulmón
Felipe Villar Álvareza,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Ignacio Muguruza Truebab, Javier Flandes Aldeyturriagac
a Servicio de Neumología, IIS Fundación Jiménez Díaz, UAM, CIBERES, Madrid, Spain
b Departamento de Cirugía Torácica, Hospitales IDCSalud, Madrid, Spain
c Unidad de Broncoscopias y Neumología Intervencionista, Servicio de Neumología, IIS Fundación Jiménez Díaz, UAM, CIBERES, Madrid, Spain
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To the Editor,

The “Cytohistological confirmation and staging” section of the “SEPAR recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of non-small cell lung cancer”, published in 2016,1 refers to transthoracic fine needle aspiration biopsy (TFNAB) as a technique for the transthoracic histological diagnosis of lung cancer (LC). This procedure is usually guided with computed tomography (CT) or ultrasound. Results show an overall sensitivity of at least 90% for the diagnosis of malignancy.1

For years, core needle biopsy (CNB) has yielded excellent results in the diagnosis of lung tumors that require a transthoracic approach.2 This technique is also performed under CT scan or ultrasound guidance, the main difference being the size of the needle and, therefore, the size of the sample. Indications are similar to those for TFNAB, and it is used in peripheral lesions that cannot be reached using other procedures, and when there is discordance between the clinical probability of cancer and the results of the imaging tests.

The sample obtained by CNB also seems to be sufficient for the classification and molecular analysis of LC.3 Even so, there is some controversy in the literature about which is the best technique for classifying these tumors or identifying mutations, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), among others, and which has a lower complication rate. In this respect, we found several studies comparing different techniques. Yao et al. concluded in an initial meta-analysis that there were no differences between the two LC diagnostic techniques, but that CNB might be more useful for identifying benign lesions.2 More recent studies have shown similar results for the diagnosis of LC. Sangha et al., for example, reported that the sensitivity and specificity of CNB were 89% and 100% respectively, while for TFNAB they were 95% and 81%.4 Moreover, although both techniques are effective for analyzing biomarkers and mutations, recent studies from Ocak et al. and Schneider et al. showed that CNB was more useful for identifying lesions, and showed an improved yield in these analyses.3,5 The greater yield of CNB may be linked to the size of the sample.

None of these studies showed significant differences in complication rates with either technique, although in some cases, these may be higher with CNB.2–4

Taking into account these observations, a new recommendation could be made, following the methodology proposed in the “SEPAR recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of non-small cell lung cancer” and using the same recommendation grades as the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) Grading System1:

  • -

    Both TFNAB and CNB are useful for the correct diagnosis of lung cancer and tumor classification on the basis of morphological characteristics and immunohistochemical studies (Grade 1B).

F. Villar Álvarez, I. Muguruza Trueba, J. Belda Sanchis, L. Molins López-Rodó, P.M. Rodríguez Suárez, J. Sánchez de Cos Escuín, et al.
Recomendaciones SEPAR de diagnóstico y tratamiento del cáncer de pulmón de células no pequeñas.
Arch Bronconeumol, 52 (2016), pp. 2-62
X. Yao, M.M. Gomes, M.S. Tsao, C.J. Allen, W. Geddie, H. Sekhon.
Fine-needle aspiration biopsy versus core-needle biopsy in diagnosing lung cancer: a systematic review.
Curr Oncol, 19 (2012), pp. 16-27
S. Ocak, F. Duplaquet, J. Jamart, L. Pirard, B. Weynand, M. Delos, et al.
Diagnostic accuracy and safety of CT-guided percutaneous transthoracic needle biopsies: 14-gauge versus 22-gauge needles.
J Vasc Interv Radiol, 27 (2016), pp. 674-681
B.S. Sangha, C.J. Hague, J. Jessup, R. O’Connor, J.R. Mayo.
Transthoracic computed tomography-guided lung nodule biopsy: comparison of core needle and fine needle aspiration techniques.
Can Assoc Radiol J, 67 (2016), pp. 284-289
F. Schneider, M.A. Smith, M.C. Lane, L. Pantanowitz, S. Dacic, N.P. Ohori.
Adequacy of core needle biopsy specimens and fine-needle aspirates for molecular testing of lung adenocarcinomas.
Am J Clin Pathol, 143 (2015), pp. 193-200

Please cite this article as: Álvarez FV, Trueba IM, Aldeyturriaga JF. Biopsia con aguja gruesa versus punción aspiración con aguja fina en el diagnóstico del cáncer de pulmón. Arch Bronconeumol. 2017;53:655–656.

Copyright © 2017. SEPAR
Archivos de Bronconeumología

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