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Thorac Surg Clin. 2008 Nov;18(4):363-79. doi: 10.1016/j.thorsurg.2008.08.001.

Minimally invasive staging of N2 disease: endobronchial ultrasound/transesophageal endoscopic ultrasound, mediastinoscopy, and thoracoscopy.

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  • 1Section of General Thoracic Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Mail Code L353, Oregon Health and Sciences University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97229, USA.


In 2005 the American College of Surgeons conducted a survey examining lung cancer practice patterns at 729 hospitals in the United States. In 11,668 surgically treated patients, 92% received a preoperative chest CT. Only 27% of these patients underwent mediastinoscopy, and lymph node material was sampled in less than half of these patients. At the time of surgical resection, additional mediastinal lymph nodes were sampled in only 58% of patients. In the remaining 42% only the lymph node material attached to the surgical specimen (N1 nodes) was sampled. Although this article discusses the finer points of the minimally invasive evaluation of the N2 lymph nodes, any procedure to evaluate these nodes is better than simply ignoring them.

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