Image-Guided Navigation in Lymph Node Biopsy

JSLS. 2018 Apr-Jun;22(2):e2017.00099. doi: 10.4293/JSLS.2017.00099.


Background and objectives: Image-guided navigation is an effective intra-operative technology in select surgical sub-specialties. Laparoscopic and open lymph node biopsy are frequently undertaken to obtain adequate tissue of difficult lesions. Image-guided navigation may positively augment the precision and success of surgical lymph node biopsies.

Methods: In this prospective pilot study, pre-operative imaging was uploaded into the navigation platform software, which superimposed the imaging and the subject's real-time anatomy. This required anatomical landmarks on the subject's body to be spatially registered with the platform using an infrared camera. This was then used to guide dissection and biopsy in laparoscopic and subcutaneous biopsies.

Results: Image-guided lymph node biopsy was undertaken in 15 cases. Successful biopsy locations included: retroperitoneum, porta hepatis, mesentery, iliac region, para-aortic, axilla, and inguinal region. There was an 87% total absolute success rate in biopsies (89% in laparoscopic image-guided navigation [LIGN] and 83% in subcutaneous image-guided navigation [SIGN]). There was a 92% absolute success rate in lesions with fixed locations. There was a 67% absolute success rate in lesions with mobile locations.

Conclusion: The investigators successfully incorporated image-guidance into surgical biopsy of lymph nodes in a diverse variety of locations. This image-guided technique for surgical biopsy can accurately and safely localize target lesions minimizing unnecessary dissection, conversion to open procedure, and re-operation for further tissue characterization. This technique was useful in the morbidly obese, instances of limited foci of disease, PET-active lesions, identifying areas of highest PET-avidity, and lesions with critical surrounding anatomy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image-Guided Biopsy*
  • Laparoscopy
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies