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Chirurg. 2008 Jan;79(1):38, 40-4. doi: 10.1007/s00104-007-1447-9.

[Role of mediastinoscopy and repeat mediastinoscopy today].

[Article in German]

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Klinik for Allgemeinchirurgie, Klinikum Kassel, Kassel, Germany.


For patients with lung cancer preoperative evaluation of the mediastinal lymph nodes is important to estimate local operability and/or to consider the necessity of neoadjuvant treatment. Cervical mediastinoscopy is generally accepted as a safe and highly accurate procedure in the staging of lung cancer. Nodes accessible to CM are the levels of the superior (level 2R and 2L) and inferior (level 4R and 4L) paratracheal and subcarinal (level 7) nodal stations. Additionally extended CM and left parasternal mediastinotomy allow the exploration of the aortopulmonary window (level 5) and anterior mediastinal nodes (level 6). In locally advanced lung cancer repeat mediastinoscopy was used after induction chemotherapy or chemoradiation to reexplore the upper mediastinum in order to select patients with a higher probability to undergo complete resection. Operative mortality of both investigations is less than 0.5%; the preoperative complication rate is very low (less than 4%). Because of the higher sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy, mediastinoscopy and repeat mediastinoscopy are superior to new methods like FDG-PET, FDG-PET/CT, EBUS-FNA, and EUS-FNA.

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