However, the intrathoracoscopic ultrasound technique has been shown, in experienced hands, to be very sensitive for the localization of pulmonary nodules.4
In addition, intrathoracoscopic ultrasound is less expensive than the radio-guided technique, and it allows study of the structures surrounding the nodule (eg, vessels, bronchi, and lymph nodes). Furthermore, intrathoracoscopic ultrasound may play a role predicting the pathology of the nodule. In fact, in all patients the lesion appeared as a homogeneous hypoechoic pattern with the sonographic disappearance of the hyperechoic pulmonary surface. Heterogeneous echogenicity of the lesion was observed in two patients, due to air bronchogram, presence of different tissue, or hamartoma. This ultrasound pattern, however, was not able to distinguish between malignant or benign lesions.,4–5
Unfortunately, the radio-guided technique does not give any additional information about the pathology of the nodule.