Shape-Sensing Robotic-Assisted Bronchoscopy in the Diagnosis of Pulmonary Parenchymal Lesions

Or Kalchiem-Dekel, James G. Connolly, I. Hsin Lin, Bryan C. Husta, Prasad S. Adusumilli, Jason A. Beattie, Darren J. Buonocore, Joseph Dycoco, Paige Fuentes, David R. Jones, Robert P. Lee, Bernard J. Park, Gaetano Rocco, Mohit Chawla, Matthew J. Bott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Background: The landscape of guided bronchoscopy for the sampling of pulmonary parenchymal lesions is evolving rapidly. Shape-sensing robotic-assisted bronchoscopy (ssRAB) recently was introduced as means to allow successful sampling of traditionally challenging lesions. Research Question: What are the feasibility, diagnostic yield, determinants of diagnostic sampling, and safety of ssRAB in patients with pulmonary lesions? Study Design and Methods: Data from 131 consecutive ssRAB procedures performed at a US-based cancer center between October 2019 and July 2020 were captured prospectively and analyzed retrospectively. Definitions of diagnostic procedures were based on prior standards. Associations of procedure- and lesion-related factors with diagnostic yield were examined by univariate and multivariate generalized linear mixed models. Results: A total of 159 pulmonary lesions were targeted during 131 ssRAB procedures. The median lesion size was 1.8 cm, 59.1% of lesions were in the upper lobe, and 66.7% of lesions were beyond a sixth-generation airway. The navigational success rate was 98.7%. The overall diagnostic yield was 81.7%. Lesion size of ≥ 1.8 cm and central location were associated significantly with a diagnostic procedure in the univariate analysis. In the multivariate model, lesions of ≥ 1.8 cm were more likely to be diagnostic compared with lesions < 1.8 cm, after adjusting for lung centrality (OR, 12.22; 95% CI, 1.66-90.10). The sensitivity and negative predictive value of ssRAB for primary thoracic malignancies were 79.8% and 72.4%, respectively. The overall complication rate was 3.0%, and the pneumothorax rate was 1.5%. Interpretation: This study was the first to provide comprehensive evidence regarding the usefulness and diagnostic yield of ssRAB in the sampling of pulmonary parenchymal lesions. ssRAB may represent a significant advancement in the ability to access and sample successfully traditionally challenging pulmonary lesions via the bronchoscopic approach, while maintaining a superb safety profile. Lesion size seems to remain the major predictor of a diagnostic procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-582
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • diagnostic yield
  • pulmonary nodule
  • robotic-assisted bronchoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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