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Early Pneumatocele Identification Post Robotic-Assisted Bronchoscopy Cryobiopsy: A Case Series experience.

INTRODUCTION: The use of cryobiopsy in conjunction with robotic assisted bronchoscopy is on the rise due to the safety and increased diagnostic yield of cryobiopsy. The incorporation of 3D fluoroscopy in the procedure improves the workflow and helps confirm the accuracy of sampling of peripheral pulmonary nodules.

METHODS: We describe an observational series of 12 patients comprising of 15 nodules where cryobiopsy was performed during Shaped sensing robot assisted bronchoscopy cryobiopsy (ssRABcb) under general anesthesia. 3D fluoroscopy was used to confirm accurate placement of the cryoprobe. All these patients underwent a second spin with the 3D fluoroscopy either to sample a second lesion intraoperatively or to investigate suspected pneumothorax.

RESULTS: The development of a pneumatocele was noted after cryobiopsy in each of the cases. The majority of these were in the upper lobe with the median size of a sampled nodule being 14 mm. The majority of patients were asymptomatic with 1 patient developing mild hemoptysis and 4 patients developing chest tightness or dyspnea. None of the patients required an intervention for the pneumatocele.

CONCLUSION: The development of pneumatoceles appears to be a fairly frequent and benign occurrence following cryobiopsy, likely due to increased tissue destruction. The increased use of intraoperative 3D fluoroscopy is likely to highlight changes to the pulmonary parenchyma that were previously not known. The occurrence of pneumatoceles does not appear to adversely impact the safety or tolerability profile of cryobiopsy.

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