Endobronchial ultrasound

An Endobronchial ultrasound is a relatively new diagnostic procedure done during a bronchoscopy to provide your pulmonologist with more comprehensive information to make an accurate diagnosis. A bronchoscopy is done using a thin, flexible tube-like instrument fitted with a light and a camera inserted down the nose and throat to the lungs to allow for visualisation of the respiratory tract.

Why might an endobronchial ultrasound be done?

This procedure is done in conjunction with a bronchoscopy. It provides real-time imaging of the surface of the airways, lungs and blood vessels and allows for a better view of the structures surrounding the lungs and chest. When combined with endobronchial ultrasound, this test can be essential in:

  • Diagnosing a lung infection
  • Diagnosing inflammatory lung conditions
  • Detecting the presence of tumours in the lung, mediastinum or chest cavity

An endobronchial ultrasound also plays an important role in diagnosis and determining the stage of one's lung cancer to plan for treatment, be it surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapies or radiation therapy.

What does the procedure involve?

This procedure is done in conjunction with bronchoscopy and is thus also done on an outpatient basis under sedation. In some cases, you may have this procedure done under general anaesthesia. After spraying your nose and throat with a local numbing anaesthetic, the bronchoscope is then inserted into your nose and passed down your nose into your throat. Once in place, an ultrasound probe is used to send sound waves through the walls of your airways and chest cavity. The reflected sound waves then form an image of the internal structures and tissues in that area, allowing your physician to guide the bronchoscope towARDS any abnormal tissues to take a sample for testing.

Schedule an appointment

Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital

Suite 1613, 16th floor, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Cnr DF Malan Street and Rua Bartholemeu Dias Plain, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001