Rationale: Bronchoscopy is commonly used for the diagnosis of suspicious pulmonary nodules discovered on computed tomographic (CT) imaging of the chest. Procedural CT imaging for bronchoscopy planning is often completed weeks to months before the date of a scheduled bronchoscopy, which may not allow discovery of a decrease in nodule size or resolution before the bronchoscopic procedure. Objectives: To determine whether same-day CT imaging of the chest discovers partial or total resolution of some lung nodules and thereby reduces unnecessary bronchoscopic procedures. Methods: We performed a prospective case series study of patients undergoing navigational bronchoscopy using a new technology requiring same-day preprocedural CT imaging at one university teaching hospital. Patients scheduled to undergo bronchoscopy who were found to have partial or complete resolution of their lesion on the same-day CT exam leading to the cancellation of their procedure were identified and further characterized. Measurements and Main Results: From January 2015 to June 2016, 116 patients were scheduled for navigational bronchoscopy for the diagnosis of a pulmonary lesion. Of the 116 patients scheduled, 8 (6.9%) had a decrease in size or resolution of their lesion, leading to the cancellation of their procedure. The number needed to screen to prevent one unnecessary procedure was 15. For cancelled cases, the average time from initial CT prompting referral for bronchoscopy to the day of procedure scan was 53 days. Conclusions: Time from initial imaging to day of procedure is variable, occasionally allowing enough time for lesions to resolve, thereby obviating the need for biopsy. Same-day imaging may decrease unnecessary procedural risk.
- Nodule resolution
- Pulmonary mass
- Pulmonary nodule
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine