Implementing endobronchial ultrasound-guided (EBUS) for staging and diagnosis of lung cancer: A cost analysis

Catalina Lizama, Neli S. Slavova-Azmanova, Martin Phillips, Michelle L. Trevenen, Ian W. Li, Claire E. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) and guide sheath (EBUS-GS) are gaining popularity for diagnosis and staging of lung cancer compared to CT-guided transthoracic needle aspiration (CT-TTNA), blind fiber-optic bronchoscopy, and mediastinoscopy. This paper aimed to examine predictors of higher costs for diagnosing and staging lung cancer, and to assess the effect of EBUS techniques on hospital cost. Material/Methods: Hospital costs for diagnosis and staging of new primary lung cancer patients presenting in 2007–2008 and 2010–2011 were reviewed retrospectively. Multiple linear regression was used to determine relationships with hospital cost. Results: We reviewed 560 lung cancer patient records; 100 EBUS procedures were performed on 90 patients. Higher hospital costs were associated with: EBUS-TBNA performed (p<0.0001); increasing inpatient length of stay (p<0.0001); increasing number of other surgical/diagnostic procedures (p<0.0001); whether the date of management decision fell within an inpatient visit (p<0.0001); and if the patient did not have a CT-TTNA, then costs increased as the number of imaging events increased (interaction p<0.0001). Cohort was not significantly related to cost. Location of the procedure (outside vs. inside theater) was a predictor of lower one-day EBUS costs (p<0.0001). Cost modelling revealed potential cost saving of $1506 per EBUS patient if all EBUS procedures were performed outside rather than in the theater ($66,259 per annum). Conclusions: EBUS-TBNA only was an independent predictor of higher cost for diagnosis and staging of lung cancer. Performing EBUS outside compared to in the theater may lower costs for one-day procedures; potential future savings are considerable if more EBUS procedures could be performed outside the operating theater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-589
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Science Monitor
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Costs and cost analysis
  • Diagnostic techniques
  • Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Neoplasm staging
  • Respiratory system

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