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Chest. 1985 Aug;88(2):206-10.

Roentgenographic evaluation of mediastinal nodes for preoperative assessment in lung cancer.


Evaluation of mediastinal nodal metastases is a critical step in the assessment of potential surgical candidates with lung cancer. Mediastinal tomography (TOMO) and chest computerized tomography (CT) visualize the mediastinal nodes more clearly than a chest roentgenogram (CXR). A prospective study was undertaken to determine the clinical value of these three tests for mediastinal staging in 102 surgical patients with lung cancer. All patients underwent thoracotomy and mediastinal nodal dissection. The roentgenographic findings were compared with the histologic evaluation of paratracheal, tracheobronchial angle, aortic window, subcarinal, and inferior pulmonary ligament nodes. TOMO, and especially CT, correctly predicted the size and location of mediastinal nodes; however, the overall accuracies were CXR (74 percent), TOMO (74 percent), CT (61 percent). These results demonstrated that the improvement in mediastinal imaging is counteracted by the fact that enlarged nodes need not contain metastases and normal-appearing small nodes may harbor microscopic disease. Computed tomography and TOMO had little clinical impact on the assessment of mediastinal nodes in potential surgical candidates with lung cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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