Bronchial brushing cytology is comparable to bronchial biopsy for epidermal growth factor receptor mutation test in non-small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer

Cytojournal. 2020 Jul 16;17:16. doi: 10.25259/Cytojournal_73_2019. eCollection 2020.


OBJECTIVES: Bronchial brushing (BB) is often used to obtain supplementary samples for diagnosing lung cancer. We examined the possibility of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) testing on BB samples and compared them with bronchial biopsy samples.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We used 150 BB samples with non-small cell carcinoma submitted to our department within 2 years. Biopsy samples were concurrently submitted for histologic diagnosis. We used the peptide nucleic acid clamping method for EFGR mutation test. Histologic diagnosis identified 137 cases of adenocarcinomas and 13 cases of non-small cell lung carcinoma, not otherwise specified. Each sample was assessed for adequacy and DNA content for EGFR mutation test.

RESULTS: Among BB samples, 28 had exon 19 deletion, 21 had mutations in exon 21, 99 were wild type, and analysis of two failed. The EGFR mutation rate in BB samples was 33.1% (49/148). Among bronchial biopsy samples, 26 had exon 19 deletion, 20 had mutations in exon 21, 92 were wild type, and analysis of 12 failed. The EGFR mutation rate using biopsy sample was 33.8% (46/136). The mutation detection results were nearly identical in both groups of samples (131/138, 94.9%). However, in two cases, an exon 21 mZutation was detected in biopsy samples but not in BB samples. In five cases, exon 19 deletion (two cases) and exon 21 mutation (three cases) were detected in BB but not in biopsy samples. The median DNA content was 58.83 ng for BB samples and 48.47 ng for biopsy samples. The failure rate for BB samples was lower than for biopsy samples. Overall, the BB samples were comparable to bronchial biopsy samples in terms of DNA quantity and mutation detection results.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that in case of inadequate biopsy samples, BB samples can be used as a substitute material for EGFR mutation test.