UAB Medicine first in Alabama to offer Cone Beam CT imaging during robotic bronchoscopies

This technology will allow UAB doctors to get real-time CT-like images during the procedure.

bronchoscopies streamPhotography: Steve WoodThe University of Alabama at Birmingham is the first hospital in Alabama to offer real-time Cone Beam CT imaging during bronchoscopies using the Cios Spin System by Siemens Healthineers.

Previously, doctors navigated to a lung nodule using information from a CT scan of the chest taken prior to the procedure.

“This system will now allow us to get real-time CT-like images during the procedure so we can know exactly where our instruments are relative to our target within the lung,” said Hitesh Batra, M.D., director of the Interventional Pulmonology and Pleural Disease Program at UAB Medicine. “We can then readjust our approach based on this information.”

Batra adds that another benefit is that the system can further improve accuracy and diagnostic yield, beyond the remarkable improvement they have already seen using the Ion robotic bronchoscopy system by Intuitive.

“This will prepare us for the possibility of ablation of lung cancer via bronchoscopy in the near future,” Batra said. “To be able to ablate a lung nodule, we will need to know exactly where our tools are relative to the nodule, which is nearly impossible to do without 3D imaging like this during the procedure. This will be an entirely new treatment option for patients with lung cancer.”

Batra is an associate professor in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine