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Published on November 05, 2013

Altru Offers Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy to Diagnose and Treat Lung Disease

Grand Forks, ND – Lesions detected deep in the lung tissue can now more easily be diagnosed and treated through new technology at Altru. The Electromagentic Navigation Bronchoscopy® (ENB) extends the reach of a bronchoscope to regions deep within the lung enabling physicians to local small lung lesions for diagnostic testing and potential treatment. This technology minimizes the need for more invasive, surgical procedures to access lung lesions in distant regions of the lung.  ENB also provides the ability to detect lung disease and lung cancer earlier, even before symptoms are evident, enhancing treatment options for patients.

Altru Health System is the only facility in eastern North Dakota to use electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy to diagnose and treat lung disease.

“Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy uses GPS-like technology to navigate a unique set of catheters deep into the lungs. The technologically advanced system guides and steers catheters through complex airways, enabling physicians to diagnose, stage, and prepare to treat distal lesions in one procedure,” states Dr. Arvind Bansal, Altru pulmonologist. Traditional bronchoscopy cannot reach the distant regions of the lung, where more than two-thirds of all lung lesions are found.

After a physician locates a lesion, or spot, deep on the lung through an X-ray, CT-Scan or PET-CT, the image is loaded onto planning software that creates a 3D roadmap of the lungs. A bronchoscope is placed through patient’s mouth and into the airways of the lungs. Next, catheters are placed in the bronchoscope channel where electromagnetic sensors guide the physician to the targeted lesion. Once at the targeted lesion, the locatable guide catheter is removed and the extended working channel catheter remains. Through this the biopsy tools can be extended to collect tissue samples for testing, diagnosis, or placing a marker for treatment.

About Lung Disease

Lesions deep in the lungs are a common medical problem; not all lung lesions are cancerous. There are many forms of non-cancerous lung diseases that may affect breathing, case scarring of lung tissue or trigger other problems throughout the body if not treated. Many smokers and non-smokers are at risk for developing benign lesions deep in the lungs as well as cancerous lesions. Lung lesions are detected from a chest x-ray, CT scan or PET-CT and often a physician may determine that a tissue sample or biopsy is needed to make a definitive diagnosis.  ENB at Altru enables physicians to use a minimally invasive procedure for testing, diagnosis and better planning for treatment.