What is Traditional Bronchoscopy? What are its limitations?

Bronchoscopy is a procedure that enables a physician to examine the major air passages of the lungs through a thin lighted tube called a bronchoscope. This allows the physician to evaluate the lungs and collect small tissue samples (biopsy) to diagnose lung disease and lung cancer. Traditional bronchoscopy however, cannot reach the distant regions of the lung and often more invasive surgical procedures are needed to make a diagnosis. This increases the risk of complications for patients.

superDimension i-Logic System

When an abnormal finding or lesion in the distant part of the lung has been found on an X-ray, CT-Scan or PET-CT Scan it may be caused by infection, inflammation or cancer. The i-Logic System by superDimension offers a minimally invasive technology that allows your physician to take tissue samples from the lung earlier and potentially more safely than traditional bronchoscopy. It is also an option for patients who suffer from poor lung function and are not candidates for other more invasive surgical diagnostic procedures.

What are the benefits of superDimension?

superDimension (also referred to as electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy) provides the ability to detect lung cancer and lung disease earlier, even before symptoms are evident, enhancing treatment options for patients.

Similar to GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy creates a three-dimensional virtual “roadmap” of the lungs from the patient’s CT-Scan that enables the physician to steer a unique set of catheters through the lungs to reach the targeted lesion(s) in a minimally invasive manner.

Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy can be used with a wide-range of patients even those who suffer from poor lung function or have had cancer surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

The physician locates the lesion that is found deep in the lung on an X-ray, CT-Scan or PET- CT Scan.

Traditional bronchoscopy fails to reach lesions in the outer regions of the lungs. Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy provides a minimally invasive approach to reaching the lesion(s).

The CT-Scan of the lungs is loaded onto a computer and a virtual three-dimensional “roadmap” of the lungs is generated. The physician marks anatomy points of the lungs and target lesion(s) on the three-dimensional image to map the route for navigation and steerable catheters to travel through the lungs.

The unique set of catheters is then loaded into the bronchoscope before the procedure begins. These catheters have 360-degree steering capabilities to reach the lesion as well as an electromagnetic sensor that will allow the physician to track the exact location of the catheters in the lungs.

During this outpatient procedure, the patient will lie on a low-frequency electromagnetic bed. The physician will pass the bronchoscope containing the unique catheters through the mouth and throat, through the windpipe, and into the lungs. This allows the electromagnetic sensor to be viewed in real-time on the virtual three-dimensional “roadmap” of the lungs to assist the physician in reaching the target lesion(s).

Once the target lesion(s) is reached, the steering catheter is removed and tiny surgical instruments (biopsy tools) are passed through the bronchoscope to collect a tissue sample (biopsy) from the lesion for testing and diagnosis.

Recovery and Risks

After the superDimension procedure, the patient will be observed until they are awake enough to return home. The most common risk is pneumothorax (collapsed lung), which occurs in 2-3% of patients.

* This is comparable to a traditional bronchoscopy.
** (National Cancer Institute. US National Institutes of Health. National Lung Screening Trial, 2005 Update.)