Percutaneous lung biopsies: performance of an optical CT-based navigation system with a low-dose protocol



To compare patients’ radiation exposure, technical feasibility, imaging quality and complication rate of percutaneous lung biopsies (PLBs) performed with a low-dose (LD) CT protocol under guidance of an optical navigation system.


Fifty-two consecutive patients with suspected malignant lung lesions were enrolled and randomised into group 1 (PLBs under the guidance of the navigation system) and group 2 (PLBs under the guidance navigation system with an LD protocol). Patients’ demographics, lesion features, procedure-related variables and CT image quality for group 2 were recorded and compared.


Technical success was 100 % in both groups. The radiation dose to patients’ chest was significantly lower in group 2 than in group 1 (group 1: mean TDLP 206 ± 59 mGy·cm, ~ 3.5 ± 1.0 mSv; group 2: 54.2 ± 46.2 mGy·cm, ~ 0.92 ± 0.78 mSv; P < 0.0001). The PNX rate was 12 % in group 1 and 11.1 % in group 2. The haemoptysis rate was 8.0 % in group 1 and 3.7 % in group 2. CT image quality obtained in group 2 was always rated as adequate and as excellent in 15 cases (56.0 %).


An optical navigation system with LD CT protocol is useful for performing lung biopsies with decreased patient radiation exposure.

Key Points

• Navigation systems are useful tools in percutaneous imaging-guided procedures.

• For lung biopsies, low-dose (LD) CT protocols may be used.

• Combining LD protocols with optical CT navigation results in significantly reduced radiation exposure.

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Fig. 1



Percutaneous lung biopsies


Low dose


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Correspondence to Roberto Luigi Cazzato.

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Grasso, R.F., Cazzato, R.L., Luppi, G. et al. Percutaneous lung biopsies: performance of an optical CT-based navigation system with a low-dose protocol. Eur Radiol 23, 3071–3076 (2013).

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  • Pulmonary nodules
  • Percutaneous lung biopsy
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Radiation dose
  • Navigation system