Accuracy of Preliminary Pathology for Robotic Bronchoscopic Biopsy

Linh H. Vu, Alejandra Yu Lee-Mateus, Eric S. Edell, Christopher Hartley, Robert A. Vierkant, Sebastian Fernandez-Bussy, Janani Reisenauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Diagnosis and treatment of peripheral pulmonary lesions (PPLs) currently require at least 2 procedures. An all-in-1 approach would require diagnosing malignancy with preliminary cytology results. This study investigated the concordance between preliminary cytology and final pathology results in biopsies of PPLs obtained by shape-sensing robotic-assisted bronchoscopy (ssRAB). Methods: This study was a retrospective, consecutive, single-arm, single-center study of 110 ssRABs for PPLs. Concordance was defined as agreement between preliminary cytology and final pathology results. Accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and safety outcomes were examined. Results: The concordance was 89% for needle biopsies, 85% for forceps biopsies, and 92% overall, with substantial agreement. There was no significant association of concordance with patients’ demographics or lesion characteristics. Preliminary cytology resulted in a malignant diagnosis in 70%, a nonmalignant diagnosis in 4%, and a nondiagnostic result in 26%, with accuracy of 86% and sensitivity of 84%. The total complication rate was 3.6%, with a pneumothorax rate of 1.8%. Conclusions: This study compared the concordance of preliminary pathology results with final pathology results for ssRAB biopsies in PPLs. The results showed that preliminary samples have a high concordance with final pathology results and may enable management of PPLs with a single anesthetic procedure including biopsy, staging, and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028-1034
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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