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J Pediatr Surg. 1996 Jan;31(1):187-9; discussion 190.

Childhood pleuropulmonary blastoma: caution against nonoperative management of congenital lung cysts.

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Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C. 29425, USA.


Pulmonary blastoma is a rare and aggressive malignant tumor that affects children and adults. Recently a 3-year-old boy with a 2-year history of bilateral unilocular pulmonary cysts was transferred for evaluation of a cough and high spiking fever. A chest radiogram showed left pulmonary consolidation with pleural effusion, but thoracentesis was unsuccessful. Computerized tomography (CT) was suggestive of a pulmonary abscess, but CT-guided drainage did not yield any purulent fluid. Percutaneous biopsies were performed, and the cytology showed malignant cells. During thoracotomy, a large tumor involving the left lower lobe and pleural space was found, and a biopsy was performed. A frozen section showed blastemal and mesenchymal components devoid of neoplastic epithelium, consistent with the pleural variant of pulmonary blastoma. A left lower lobectomy, with tumor decortication of the pleural space, achieved total gross tumor removal. The child received aggressive multiagent chemotherapy, and midway through it he underwent elective excision of the opposite lung cyst. It has been 17 months since the lobectomy; he is off chemotherapy and has no evidence of disease. A review of the literature showed that a large number of pediatric pulmonary blastomas are associated with cystic lung disease. Because total tumor removal offers the only chance of a good long-term outcome, surgical excision or close follow-up of pulmonary cysts in children is strongly recommended.

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