Article Abstract

Electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy with dye marking for identification of small peripheral lung nodules during minimally invasive surgical resection

Authors: Juan A. Muñoz-Largacha, Michael I. Ebright, Virginia R. Litle, Hiran C. Fernando


Background: Identification of small peripheral lung nodules during minimally invasive resection can be challenging. Electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB) with injection of dye to identify nodules can be performed by the surgeon immediately prior to resection. We evaluated the effectiveness of ENB with dye marking to aid minimally invasive resection.
Methods: Patients with peripheral pulmonary nodules underwent ENB before planned thoracoscopic or robotic-assisted thoracoscopic resection. Methylene blue was injected directly into the lesion for pleural-based lesions or peripherally for lesions deep to the pleural surface. Surgical resection was then immediately performed. Technical success was defined as identification of the dye marking within/close to the lesion with pathological confirmation after minimally invasive surgical resection.
Results: Seventeen patients (19 nodules) underwent ENB with dye marking followed by minimally invasive resection. Median lesion size was 9 mm (4–32 mm) and the median distance from the pleura was 9.5 mm (1–40 mm). Overall success rate was 79% (15/19). In two cases the dye was not visualized and in the remaining two there was extravasation of dye into the pleural space. There were trends favoring technical success for nodules that were larger or closer to the pleural surface. Five patients required adhesiolysis to visualize the target lesion and all were successful. There were no significant adverse events and a definitive diagnosis was ultimately accomplished in all patients.
Conclusions: ENB with dye marking is useful for guiding minimally invasive resection of small peripheral lung nodules. ENB can be undertaken immediately before performing resection in the operating room. This improves workflow and avoids the need for a separate localization procedure.