Same day CT chest imaging for suspected lung cancer can uncover partial or total resolution of some lung nodules and thereby reduces unnecessary bronchoscopic procedures. Those are the findings from a newly published clinical study from physician investigators at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Study results were published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Bronchoscopy is commonly used for the diagnosis of suspicious pulmonary nodules discovered on computed tomographic (CT) imaging of the chest. The study was a retrospective analysis of 116 patients who underwent, or were scheduled to undergo navigated bronchoscopies utilizing Veran Medical’s SPiN Thoracic Navigation System™. The SPiN System™ is a precision thoracic guidance system that helps physicians pinpoint suspicious lung lesions and biopsy them. Veran’s unique same day inspiration/expiration CT scan protocol is designed to reduce diagnostic error and provide doctors with the most accurate 3D map to find lesions, expedite diagnosis, and get patients appropriate life saving therapy earlier. Prior CT studies have shown that there is significant nodule movement between inspiration and expiration (respiratory cycle), which may adversely affect diagnostic yields.

The Johns Hopkins study found that in 8/116 patients (6.9%), nodules discovered on previous CT scans had disappeared or were so reduced in size that procedures were no longer necessary. The average time between initial scan and procedure day for those patients was 53 days. For other study patients, it was 50 days.

“Veran navigation technology is built around same day inspiration/expiration CT scans because the clinical data confirms it helps account for nodule movement and delivers an industry leading pinpoint accurate 3D map of a patient’s lungs,” said Veran CEO Jason Pesterfield. “This new study is additional affirmation that our protocol is good for patients, good for health care providers and good for payers with a mission to improve patient care, reduce risks, and reduce the costs of unnecessary procedures.”

Authors note that other manufacturers’ “earlier generation” Electromagnetic Navigation systems “utilized previous scans completed at the time of diagnosis. However, these scans were often performed weeks to months before the patient is referred to a specialist and scheduled for their procedure. The rationale for the same day procedural CT scan is to utilize the ENB platform (Veran) technology to pair both an expiratory and inspiratory CT to allow the software to build a virtual airway model which localizes the nodule and compensates for respiratory variation.”

In the publication, study authors note that their case series highlights an important point for patients having invasive diagnostic testing following findings from an imaging study. “If there is a significant delay from the initial imaging, practitioners should consider repeat studies prior to proceeding with the scheduled procedure.”

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