Comparison between the application of microcoil and hookwire for localizing pulmonary nodules

  • Libao Hu
  • Jian GaoEmail author
  • Chen Chen
  • Xin Zhi
  • Huixin Liu
  • Nan Hong



To compare the efficacy and safety of localization of small pulmonary nodules with microcoil and hookwire prior to surgical resection.


A total of 112 patients who underwent preoperative computed tomography (CT)-guided localization of small pulmonary nodules were enrolled in this single-center retrospective non-randomized cohort study between June 2016 and June 2017. Seventy-nine patients who underwent percutaneous localization with microcoils formed the microcoil group; the remaining 33 patients underwent percutaneous localization with hookwires (hookwire group). The primary outcomes were the success and complication rates of the procedure. Student’s t test was used for continuous variables, whereas chi-square analysis and logistic regression were used for dichotomous variables.


Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) was successfully performed in all cases, without conversion to thoracotomy. The localization success rate was 94.9% (75/79) in the microcoil group and 93.9% (31/33) in the hookwire group (p = 0.836). Hookwire group (p = 0.000) and nodule location of the lower lobe (p = 0.012) were associated with an increased incidence of pneumothorax. Hookwire group (p = 0.027) and decreased nodule diameter (p = 0.024) were associated with an increased incidence of moderate to severe chest pain, as well as an increased incidence of overall complications.


Although the deployment of the microcoil was more complex and required more time than hookwire placement, microcoil localization was associated with fewer complications.

Key Points

CT-guided percutaneous localization using a microcoil and that using a hookwire are equally effective for localizing small pulmonary nodules prior to resection with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.

Lung nodule localization using a microcoil was associated with fewer complications than localization using a hookwire.


Pulmonary nodules Nodule localization Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery Computed tomography 



Computed tomography


Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery



The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Jian Gao.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Statistics and biometry

Huixin Liu (Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Peking University People’s Hospital, Beijing, China), PhD, provided statistical advice for this study, and she is one of the authors.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was waived by the Institutional Review Board.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• retrospective

• observational

• performed at one institution


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyPeking University People’s HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Clinical EpidemiologyPeking University People’s HospitalBeijingChina

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