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J Pediatr Surg. 2016 Mar;51(3):508-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2015.11.022. Epub 2015 Dec 9.

Surgical versus conservative management of congenital pulmonary airway malformation in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1H 8 L1.
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1H 8 L1; Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1H 8 M5. Electronic address:



The ideal management of infants born with asymptomatic congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM) is controversial. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing elective resection versus expectant management.


We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PubMed for studies describing the management of asymptomatic CPAM and reporting on postoperative morbidity, mortality, and length of hospital stay (LOS). We performed meta-analyses when possible and provide a narrative summary of results.


One nonrandomized prospective and eight retrospective studies met our inclusion criteria. Out of 168 patients, 70 underwent surgery before symptoms developed with seven experiencing postoperative complications (10.0%); 63 developed symptoms while being managed expectantly and subsequently underwent surgery with 20 complications (31.8%). Thirty-five patients continued to be followed nonsurgically (three months to nine years of follow-up). Morbidity was higher with surgery after symptom development (6 studies; odds ratio 4.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40 to 15.11, P<0.01); there was no difference in LOS (3 studies; mean difference 4.96, 95% CI -1.75 to 11.67, P=0.15). There were no related deaths.


Elective resection of asymptomatic CPAM lesions is safe and prevents the risk of symptom development, which may result in a more complicated surgery and recovery.


Asymptomatic; Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation; Congenital cystic lung malformation; Congenital pulmonary airway malformation; Surgery

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