Article Abstract

Navigation bronchoscopy for diagnosis and small nodule location

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


Lung cancer continues to be the most common cause of cancer death. Screening programs for high risk patients with the use of low-dose computed tomography (CT) has led to the identification of small lung lesions that were difficult to identify using previous imaging modalities. Electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB) is a novel technique that has shown to be of great utility during the evaluation of small, peripheral lesions, that would otherwise be challenging to evaluate with conventional bronchoscopy. The diagnostic yield of navigational bronchoscopy however is highly variable, with reports ranging from 59% to 94%. This variability suggests that well-defined selection criteria and standardized protocols for the use of ENB are lacking. Despite this variability, we believe that this technique is a useful tool evaluating small peripheral lung lesions when patients are properly selected.