Localization of Pulmonary Nodules Using Navigation Bronchoscope and a Near-Infrared Fluorescence Thoracoscope
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BACKGROUND: Video-assisted thoracoscopic wedge resection of multiple small, non-visible, and nonpalpable pulmonary nodules is a clinical challenge. We propose an ultra-minimally invasive technique for localization of pulmonary nodules using the electromagnetic navigation bronchoscope (ENB)-guided transbronchial indocyanine green (ICG) injection and intraoperative fluorescence detection with a near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence thoracoscope. METHODS: Fluorescence properties of ICG topically injected into the lung parenchyma were determined using a resected porcine lung. The combination of ENB-guided ICG injection and NIR fluorescence detection was tested using a live porcine model. An electromagnetic sensor integrated flexible bronchoscope was geometrically registered to the three-dimensional chest computed tomographic image data by way of a real-time electromagnetic tracking system. The ICG mixed with iopamidol was injected into the pulmonary nodules by ENB guidance; ICG fluorescence was visualized by a near-infrared (NIR) thoracoscope. RESULTS: The ICG existing under 24-mm depth of inflated lung was detectable by the NIR fluorescence thoracoscope. The size of the fluorescence spot made by 0.1 mL of ICG was 10.4 ± 2.2 mm. An ICG or iopamidol spot remained at the injected point of the lung for more than 6 hours in vivo. The ICG fluorescence spot injected into the pulmonary nodule with ENB guidance was identified at the pulmonary nodule with the NIR thoracoscope. CONCLUSIONS: The ENB-guided transbronchial ICG injection and intraoperative NIR thoracoscopic detection is a feasible method to localize multiple pulmonary nodules.
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