Towards an optimization of bronchoscopic approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of the pulmonary nodules: a review
The last several years have seen substantive improvements and innovation with respect to bronchoscopic approaches to the indeterminate pulmonary nodule both diagnostically and therapeutically. Indeed, these advances have only accelerated over the last year or two and extend across multiple domains and include improvements in imaging technologies and techniques, approaches and tools to access different areas of the lung, tools to acquire tissue as well as tools and methods to ablate tissue. Needless to say, there are a variety of different approaches in terms of how these issues are being solved along with differing levels of technology and infrastructure commitments necessary to utilize these various tools, with some of these approaches being farther along than others. This article reviews some of these recent advances in the domains of advanced imaging, approaches to accessing various parts of the lung, tools designed to acquire tissue, robotic endoscopy platforms, new approaches to tissue ablation as well as potential additions to these areas that are on the horizon.