Radial EBUS or radial endobronchial ultrasound, is a type of EBUS procedure that uses a specialized ultrasound probe to view the airway walls and surrounding structures. Unlike traditional linear EBUS, which uses an ultrasound probe on the tip of the bronchoscope, radial EBUS uses a probe that is located at the side of the bronchoscope.
The bronchoscope is introduced into the airways during the procedure through the mouth or nose. The doctor will next position the radial EBUS probe against the airway walls and extend it from the side of the bronchoscope to see the lymph nodes and other structures. In order to obtain samples for testing, such as in the instance of transbronchial needle aspiration, a fine needle can also be inserted through the bronchoscope (TBNA).
In situations where the linear EBUS technique might not be able to reach the target area, such as in the more periphery portions of the lung, radial EBUS is very helpful. Also, it can deliver higher-resolution pictures of the tissues and airway walls, which can help in lung cancer diagnosis and staging as well as the assessment of other lung conditions. Radial EBUS is usually regarded as safe, minimally invasive, and carries a low risk of complications, just like other EBUS treatments.