Efficacy of rapid on-site evaluation for diagnosing pulmonary lesions and mediastinal lymph nodes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Xi Chen, Bing Wan, Yangyang Xu, Yong Song, Ping Zhan, Litang Huang, Hongbing Liu, Dang Lin, Tangfeng Lv


Background: Although rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE) is gradually becoming an integral part of the modern Interventional Pulmonology, the clinical benefit of ROSE is still a matter of controversy. The objective of this meta-analysis was to clarify whether ROSE is effective in diagnosing pulmonary lesions and mediastinal lymph nodes, synchronously, to assess circumstances under which ROSE makes more sense.
Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for studies comparing any outcome between ROSE and no-ROSE group in diagnosing pulmonary lesions and mediastinal lymph nodes. Statistical calculations were conducted using Review Manager, version 5.3, and Stata Release 12.0. Meta-analysis was completed using a random-effects model when I2≥50% or a fixed-effect otherwise. Heterogeneity was assessed by the I2-statistic test. Publication bias was assessed by the Begg’s test.
Results: This Literature search yielded 27 studies altogether. The pooled risk difference of adequate rate was 0.12 [95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.07–0.16, I2=0%], the combined risk difference (RD) of diagnostic yield was 0.14 (95% CI: 0.09–0.18, I2=57%) while the pooled RD of sensitivity for malignancy was 0.10 (95% CI: 0.06–0.14, I2 =20%). Significant heterogeneity only existed in diagnostic yield (I2=57%, P=0.001). Further subgroup analysis documented a higher increase in diagnostic yield when sampling solid pulmonary lesions than sampling hilar/mediastinal lymph nodes 0.16 (95% CI: 0.12–0.20, I2=0%) versus 0.08 (95% CI: 0.04–0.13, I2=10%) and when applied to patients with suspected/diagnosed lung cancer than unselected patients 0.12 (95% CI: 0.06 to 0.18) versus 0.11 (95% CI: −0.07 to 0.28).
Conclusions: ROSE is a useful technology in diagnosing pulmonary lesions and mediastinal lymph nodes, especially when sampling solid pulmonary lesions or applied to patients with suspected lung cancer.