Bronchoscopy is often performed for staging lung cancer. The recent development of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) scanners and ultrathin bronchoscopes now enable the bronchoscopic biopsy and treatment of peripheral diagnostic regions of interest (ROIs). Because these ROIs are often located several generations within the airway tree, careful planning and interpretation of the bronchoscopic route is required prior to a procedure. The current practice for planning bronchoscopic procedures, however, is difficult, error prone, and time consuming. To alleviate these issues, we propose a method for producing and previewing reports for bronchoscopic procedures using patient-specific MDCT chest scans. The reports provide quantitative data about the bronchoscopic routes and both static and dynamic previews of the proper airway route. The previews consist of virtual bronchoscopic endoluminal renderings along the route and three-dimensional cues for a final biopsy site. The reports require little storage space and computational resources, enabling physicians to view the reports on a portable tablet PC. To evaluate the efficacy of the reporting system, we have generated reports for 22 patients in a human lung cancer patient pilot study. For 17 of these patients, we used the reports in conjunction with live image-based bronchoscopic guidance to direct physicians to central chest and peripheral ROIs for subsequent diagnostic evaluation. Our experience shows that the tool enabled useful procedure preview and an effective means for planning strategy prior to a live bronchoscopy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Computer Science Applications