The device features Olympus' FLEX-cut technology, an innovation leveraging a spiral pattern of laser cuts on the needle, for unprecedented flexibility. The flexibility of the needle is a major advantage as it does not limit articulation of the bronchoscope making it difficult to reach certain target locations.

Furthermore, the PeriView FLEX TBNA needle is the only TBNA needle that can be used with the Olympus 2.0 mm guide sheath. This smaller guide sheath provides an extension of the bronchoscope's working channel, which creates an extended reach and when combined with the PeriView FLEX, enables better access when compared to other TBNA needles on the market.

Currently, CT Guided needle aspiration, a form of transthoracic needle aspiration (TTNA) is the typical approach for accessing lesions in peripheral airways, but while the diagnostic yield for the procedure is good, the rate of pneumothorax (collapsed lung) can be high, and can lead to complications such as the need for a chest tube, prolonged air leak, and/or hospitalization.i

The PeriView FLEX TBNA needle combines the best of both improved access to peripheral lesions and reduced complications when compared to TTNA.

"While EBUS-TBNA is considered the gold standard for central airway lesions, TBNA for peripheral pulmonary lesions has not been the optimal method for diagnosis," said Dr. Nichole Tanner, Associate Professor of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina.

 "For those bronchoscopists choosing to pursue a diagnosis of a peripheral lesion, the use of this improved needle with better performance and safety profile coupled with its compatibility with the full line of Olympus guide sheaths is an advantage, which may lead to improved diagnostic yield."

"This needle introduction represents a first for peripheral bronchoscopy," Kurt Heine, Group Vice President of the Endoscopy Division at Olympus America Inc. "PeriView FLEX is designed for peripheral access and we hope its availability will translate to more early diagnoses. We're proud to be part of a major push to improve the odds of people confronted with a deadly disease."

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. About 70-80 percent of cancers are diagnosed at the advanced stage when the survival rate is only 5 percent (defined as surviving for five or more years from diagnosis).

Only 15 percent of patients are diagnosed in the early stage, when the survival rate is much more promising, at 55 percent.ii

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 percent 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.

The Olympus PeriView FLEX TBNA needle is part of the Olympus EBUS Solution family of products, designed to give bronchoscopists all they need to perform real-time lymph node and peripheral lesion sampling in one complete system.