PURPOSE: Interventional procedures are of increasing importance in bronchology. However objective measures after intervention are widely lacking. Thus neither different methods nor results in different centers can be reliably compared. We explored feasibility of the VRI for evaluation of results after bronchoscopic interventions.
METHODS: The 40 sensors of the VRI system pick up the vibrations on the chest wall created by respiration maneuvers. By processing the signals to dynamic gray scale images breathing maneuvers can be followed real time on a monitor. In a prospective study the electronic stethoscope was applied before and after interventions (dilation, laser treatment, stenting etc.) and compared to images of healthy individuals.
RESULTS: In 40pts the signals differed considerably from the harmonic images in healthy persons. After successful intervention we observed a significant change towards a more normal behavior. The intervention resulted in different VRI patterns depending on the site and nature of the pathology.
CONCLUSION: We observed significant changes in the VRI patterns pre and post intervention in comparison to normal images. In several cases the changes could be quantified by complex algorithms and thus might serve a more objective quantification of pre and post intervention status.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The VRI has the potential to quantify results of bronchoscopic interventions. In future, it might be possible to obtain reliable informations on the site and the nature of the airway problem. This might have decisive influence on choosing the best method for intervention.
DISCLOSURE: Heinrich Becker, Grant monies (from industry related sources) The study is supported by DeepBreeze Co., Israel.