Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy Spares a Drunken Crab From the Surgeon’s Knife

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Surgical resection is traditionally the preferred treatment for fluorodeoxyglucose-avid peripheral pulmonary nodules that grow over time. However, new technologies, including electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB), provide an opportunity to confirm or possibly exclude a cytologic cancer diagnosis, before resection. We present a case of a 56-year-old North American man who presented with a fluorodeoxyglucose-avid pulmonary nodule and sought a second opinion after being recommended thoracotomy with lobectomy. The peripheral nodule was biopsied using ENB and pathologic evaluation of the lesion demonstrated parasitic eggs with features of Paragonimus westermani. No evidence of malignancy was found. The radiographic abnormalities resolved after treatment with praziquantel. Using a minimally invasive procedure with ENB, we successfully diagnosed pulmonary infection with P. westermani, a rare infectious cause of peripheral pulmonary lesions in a patient without travel to an endemic area. Furthermore, an alternative diagnosis to cancer was established, sparing this patient an unnecessary thoracotomy with right middle lobectomy.

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