New Technology at Altru: Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy

GPSDid Santa bring shiny new technologies to your home this holiday? Perhaps a fancy camera, iPad or GPS for your vehicle?

At Altru, we got a different kind of technology: Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy® (ENB). Using GPS-like equipment, ENB guides and steers catheters through complex airways in the lungs. 

Looking Deeper
Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death, taking the lives of more people yearly than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society.


Early detection improves survival; unfortunately, lung cancer is often recognized late. ENB provides the ability to detect lung cancer and other lung diseases earlier, sometimes even before symptoms are evident.

More than two-thirds of all lung lesions are found in distant regions of the lung. Traditional bronchoscopy cannot reach this far. Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy allows us to see deeper. Using this new technology, physicians can locate small lung lesions for diagnostic testing and potential treatment, minimizing the need for more invasive, surgical procedures.

How It Works

  • After a physician locates a lesion, or spot, deep on the lung through an X-ray, CT-Scan or PET-CT, the image is loaded onto planning software that creates a 3D map of the lungs.
  • A bronchoscope is placed through the mouth and into the airways of the lungs.
  • Catheters are places in the bronchoscope channel, where electromagnetic sensors guide the physician to the targeted lesion.
  • Once at the targeted lesion, the guide catheter is removed and the extended working channel catheter remains.
  • The biopsy tools can be extended to collect tissue samples for testing, diagnosis or placing a marker for treatment.

Learn more about the ENB procedure. Or, watch this Wellness in One, featuring Dr. Bansal, Altru pulmonologist:

Altru Health System is the only facility in eastern North Dakota to offer Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy to diagnose and treat lung disease. Learn more about Altru’s Pulmonary Lab or see the news release.

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