In 2002, the European Respiratory Society (ERS)/American Thoracic Society statement on interventional pulmonology was published in the European Respiratory Journal 1. Thoracoscopy was not dealt with in this statement, but discussed separately in the ERS Monograph on Pleural Diseases, which was published in September 2002 2.
Over the past 4 yrs, many articles have been published in the field of interventional pulmonology. An important new development is the use of ultrasound in the diagnostic work-up of enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes in lung cancer patients. Real-time ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of lymph nodes is now possible by the oesophagoscopic (EUS-FNA) as well as the bronchoscopic route.
It is now time for an update on the state-of-the-art procedures in both interventional bronchoscopy and thoracoscopy. In the present issue of the ERJ, the article by Bolliger et al. 3 is the first in a series of six review articles.
Three of these articles will be dedicated to examining the following areas …