Latest update about virtual-assisted lung mapping in thoracic surgery

Kentaro Kitano, Masaaki Sato


Virtual-assisted lung mapping (VAL-MAP) is a preoperative bronchoscopic multi-spot dye-marking technique using virtual images developed to assist in navigational lung resection. The technique of VAL-MAP has been shown to be safe and effective surgical assistive tool for performing pulmonary sublobar resections. The technique is applicable for treating multiple small pulmonary lesions that are hardly palpable including ground glass nodules (GGNs). It also may help shorten surgical duration in wedge resection cases. Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) may eliminate the need for post-mapping computed tomography (CT) scans in logistically challenged situations. In the most recent, multicenter prospective single-arm study, conventional VAL-MAP had reasonable efficacy for obtaining good surgical margin in pulmonary sublobar resections, although the successful resection rate did not reach the primary goal most significantly due to deep resection margins. The technique of VAL-MAP in combination with microcoil may be the next step to acquire better surgical margins.