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Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Jan;79(1):313-6; discussion 316-7.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for pulmonary nodules after computed tomography-guided marking with a spiral wire.

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Clinic for Abdominal, Transplant, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany.



Peripheral pulmonary nodules are preferably removed by minimally invasive techniques, such as video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) surgery. These nodules should be marked preoperatively for better intraoperative detection and removal.


Twenty-two cases with a single pulmonary nodule requiring surgical removal for histologic examination were included in a prospective study. Guided by computed tomography, nodules were marked preoperatively using a laser marker system and fixed with a spiral wire. The marked nodules were removed by VATS surgery immediately after the marking.


The marking wire was placed in all 22 patients without any complications. The marked nodule was completely removed by VATS surgery in 19 patients. Conversion to thoracotomy was necessary in 3 patients, twice because of thoracoscopy-related problems and once because of a marking failure. The average times for the marking procedure and operation were 24 minutes and 32 minutes, respectively.


This new method of computed tomography-guided nodule marking with a spiral wire and subsequent VATS surgery is very efficient in terms of localization and stable fixation of subpleural pulmonary nodules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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