Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy. PARDS. Vaping alert. PR and COPD.


Interventional Chest/Diagnostic Procedures

Emergence of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy for the diagnosis of peripheral lung lesions

The diagnostic chest medicine community saw exciting advances in technology for diagnosis of peripheral lung lesions (PLL) with the recent FDA approval of two robotic-assisted bronchoscopy systems (RBS): the Monarch Platform from Auris Health (2018) and the Ion system from Intuitive Surgical (2019). Small pilot studies of 15 (Monarch) and 29 (Ion) subjects, respectively, demonstrated safety and feasibility of biopsy and diagnosis of PLL using RBS (Rojas-Solano, et al. J Bronchol Intervent Pulmonol. 2018;25:168; Fielding et al. Respiration. 2019;98[2]:142). While these studies were not powered to evaluate diagnostic yield, they suggested the potential for improved yields over current technologies.

Current bronchoscopic modalities for diagnosis of PLL include electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy, radial endobronchial ultrasound, and fluoroscopic guidance, all of which have favorable safety profiles but have been plagued by a wide range in diagnostic yields (38% to 88%) (Eberhardt R, et al. Am J Respir Crit Med. 2007;176[1]:36; Ost DE, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016;193[1]:68). Despite the discordant history of efficacy of PLL sampling modalities, they have gained widespread adoption due to the increasing need to access the periphery. That said, many operators have been left wanting, making new technologies attractive options despite a lack of data. The emergence of RBS may present an opportunity to change the way we approach bronchoscopic procedures, making what was a manual procedure into one the is machine-assisted and, perhaps, improving our accuracy of repetition. The robotic age of lung medicine is an exciting proposition, however, it is paramount that we pursue a robust evidence-based strategy with multicentered clinical trials and move beyond the limitations of registry data in order to carefully embrace these new technologies.

Christina MacRosty, DO

Incoming Fellow-in-Training Member

Jason Akulian, MD, MPH, FCCP

Steering Committee Member

Pediatric Chest Medicine

PARDS: A new definition

Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (PARDS) is a multifactorial clinical syndrome associated with high morbidity and mortality in children. It is caused by disruption of the alveolar epithelial–endothelial permeability barrier leading to accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the alveoli and surfactant degradation. These changes result in a restrictive lung disease characterized by hypoxemia, radiographic opacities, decreased FRC, and lung compliance and increased physiologic dead space. Resolution usually occurs after several weeks, with potential development of fibrosis. The most common cause of ARDS in children is viral respiratory infection, although associated with many underlying conditions, including pneumonia, sepsis, trauma, burns, pancreatitis, inhalation, transfusion, and cardiopulmonary bypass.

Dr. Harish Rao, Penn State University, Hershey

Dr. Harish Rao

In 2015, an international panel of experts convened the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference (PALICC) to establish new definitions and guidelines for PARDS. The 2015 PALICC definition broadens to include any new parenchymal infiltrate(s) and allows use of pulse oximetry to avoid underestimating ARDS prevalence in children. It also allows utilization of the oxygenation index (OI) and oxygenation saturation index (OSI) rather than the PaO2/Fio2 (P/F) ratio to assess hypoxemia (PARDS: consensus. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2015;16[5]:428; Orloff et al. Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol. 2019;32[2]:35).

In a follow-up international, prospective, cross-sectional, observational study across 27 countries, the PALICC definition identified more children as having PARDS than the Berlin definition. The PALICC PARDS severity groupings improved mortality risk stratification. The PALICC PARDS framework appears to be a better tool for future epidemiologic and therapeutic research among children with PARDS (Khemani et al. Lancet Respir Med. 2019;7[2]:115).

Harish Rao, MD

Steering Committee Member

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