Olympus has announced the availability of the new ViziShot 2 single use aspiration needles, expanding the device portfolio for Endobronchial Ultrasound Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (EBUS-TBNA), a minimally invasive alternative to a surgical procedure and considered the gold standard for lung cancer staging.

The new needles, to be unveiled at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Annual conference, will expand the line of devices from Olympus, offering improved access, usability and puncture of difficult-to-access lymph node targets.

For pulmonologists performing EBUS-TBNA, the ViziShot 2 generation of needles offers enhanced precision through benefits that include:

Improved access through enhanced flexibility: The advanced needle helps to support access to lymph node targets, which can be difficult to reach with conventional EBUS-TBNA needles.

Improved puncture via the sharper needle: The "backcut" design of the ViziShot 2 provides a sharper needle, reducing puncture force required to sample even calcified lymph nodes.

Enhanced usability with an ergonomic handle and redesigned colored sheath: The ergonomic handle design and improved bronchoscope adapter enable stability and precise puncture control throughout the procedure. The newly designed green-colored sheath provides excellent endoscopic visibility to ensure the needle can be deployed at the exact required location, with minimal sheath movement.

Two sizes: Either 21 G or 22 G is available to suit physician needs.

In addition to the ViziShot 2, Olympus will demonstrate its continued commitment to pioneering in the EBUS-TBNA field by introducing the ViziShot 2 FLEX 19 G needle, that features a brand new ergonomic handle.  When used with the Olympus BF-UC180F 2.2mm channel EBUS bronchoscope , it provides up to 84 degrees of angulation to help physicians gain access to the most difficult lymph node stations, such as 4L, with ease.  

This needle has the largest inner lumen currently available in the United States, ensuring improved sample acquisition for advanced molecular testing and enabling physicians to obtain ample quantities of the high-quality specimens needed for a comprehensive histological analysis, especially when diagnosing sarcoidosis and lymphomas.

"Great strides have been made in diagnosing and staging lung cancer and other diseases of the lung using minimally-invasive approaches, and we are proud of our contributions," said Kurt Heine, Group Vice President of the Endoscopy Division at Olympus America Inc.  "Our continued commitment to pulmonologists to advance minimally-invasive methods is driven by the evidence that such approaches improve patient outcomes, cost containment and patient satisfaction."

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control, with more than 400 Americans each day dying from the disease. Early diagnosis and accurate staging of lung cancer can lead to improved treatment. Other diseases are also better managed via EBUS-TBNA. 

In July 2013, The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced new recommendations for lung cancer screening for people at high risk for lung cancer, leading to increases in CT screening.  Around the same time, the American College of Chest Physicians changed its lung cancer guidelines, now recommending Endobronchial Ultrasound over surgery for lung cancer staging.  

Many of these patients require follow-up care that could, by USPSTF estimates, prevent roughly 14% of the 160,000 lung cancer deaths each year.  Recent CMS increases in reimbursement for procedures related to lung cancer diagnosis allow hospitals to more readily build their lung cancer program.