These tests can be used to look
for cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or other problems in the area between the
A long, thin, lighted tube
(bronchoscope) is used to do an endobronchial ultrasound. It's put in through your
mouth or nose and into your windpipe (trachea). The bronchoscope is fitted with an
ultrasound transducer at its tip. The transducer gives off sound waves and picks up
the echoes as they bounce off body tissues. The echoes are converted by a computer
into an image on a computer screen. The transducer can be pointed in different
directions to look at lymph nodes and other structures in the mediastinum. If the
doctor sees suspicious areas such as enlarged lymph nodes, a hollow needle can be
passed through the scope to get biopsy samples of them. The samples are then sent to
a lab to be looked at under a microscope.
An endoscopic esophageal
ultrasound is much the same. It can also be used to look at lymph nodes in the
mediastinum. But for this test, the scope is passed down the swallowing tube
(esophagus) instead of the windpipe.