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New Cellular Imaging Technology for Lung Institute

Columbus, Ind. -   A new tiny microscope is being used by physicians at The Lung Institute at Columbus Regional Hospital to improve their ability to detect and treat cancer in the far reaches of the lungs and other peripheral lung diseases in Indiana patients.

Columbus Regional Hospital is the only hospital in the state of Indiana employing this innovative technology. It is called Cellvizio and is used with bronchoscopy -- a procedure that uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light -- to look for suspicious tissue in the lungs.

"Until now, our ability to look for lung diseases with bronchoscopy has been limited to the main branches of the lungs due to the narrowing diameter of the outer branches and the size of existing bronchoscopes," explained Dr. David Wilson, critical care medicine and pulmonary medicine specialist at The Lung Institute at Columbus Regional Hospital. "This has prevented physicians from gaining a better understanding of peripheral lung cancers and other peripheral lung diseases."

With Cellvizio, Dr. Wilson threads the tiny microscope through the bronchoscope and is able to access the far reaches of the lung, even the alveoli, the lung's tiny branches that replace carbon dioxide with oxygen in the blood. Just as important, Cellvizio allows physicians to view this tissue right away in the body at the cellular level, live and moving.

"Cellvizio now allows the opportunity to immediately see changes in the cells and potentially gain insights of what may be wrong and thus optimize patient treatment," Dr. Wilson said.

"Further, we've traditionally used random or 'blind' biopsies, in which we cut out pieces of suspicious tissue and send them to a laboratory to determine if they are cancerous, and Cellvizio could let us less invasively and more quickly reach a diagnosis as it helps us perform more targeted and fewer biopsies," continued Dr. Wilson.

Lung disease is America's number three killer, responsible for one in six deaths.

Cellvizio was recognized as a finalist in the 2008 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards for medical devices. Cellvizio is cleared by the Food & Drug Administration for use in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and over 2,000 Cellvizio procedures have been completed worldwide to date.

The Lung Institute at Columbus Regional Hospital is one of only a few centers nationwide to offer an innovative approach to lung disease by providing the latest diagnostic testing, treatment, and disease management in one location for pulmonary care patients. The institute is led by pulmonologist, Dr. David Wilson, and an experienced interdisciplinary team.


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