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CT guided injection of 99mTc-MAA for lung nodule localization prior to VATS

      Highlights

      • CT guided 99mTc-MAA injection is a feasible technique for pulmonary nodule localization before VATS procedure.
      • It has a high success and low complication rate.
      • Nodule size, nodule depth, final needle position, and radiotracer injection to incision interval did not impact the procedure success.

      Abstract

      Aim

      CT guided technetium99m-macroaggregated albumin (99mTc-MAA) injection for lung nodule localization prior to video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is employed at our institution for more than a decade. We retrospectively studied the success rate, factors that affect outcomes, and complications of this procedure.

      Materials and methods

      147 patients with 164 nodules underwent this procedure before VATS. Imaging and procedure characteristics, complications of the procedure, successful intra-operative localization and wedge resection, if there was conversion of primary VATS to open thoracotomy and if so the reason, and histopathological diagnosis for each nodule were reviewed by two radiologists in consensus. In case of unsuccessful wedge resection, reasons for failure were derived from electronic medical record. The impact of nodule and procedure characteristics on successful intra-operative localization was assessed.

      Results

      Excluding 9 nodules with unsuccessful localization due to non-procedure related reasons, the CT guided procedure was successful in 96.1% for intraoperative localization (149/155). Pleural leak of the radiotracer, split injection within the lobe, injection into a wrong nodule and gamma probe malfunction were primary reasons for failure. Nodule size, depth from pleura, and time between radiotracer injection and surgical incision did not impact success of the procedure. Among the 6 cases with procedure related failure, only 1 required conversion to open thoracotomy.

      Conclusion

      CT guided 99mTc-MAA injection for intra-operative lung nodule localization is a feasible procedure with a high success rate and low complication rate. Attention to technique can potentially avoid procedure failure.

      Keywords

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