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Ann Thorac Surg. 1997 Aug;64(2):303-6.

Incidence of lung nodules found in patients undergoing lung volume reduction.

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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield 62794-9230, USA.



The risk of lung cancer is increased with cigarette smoking and obstructive lung disease. Patients having a lung volume reduction operation represent a high-risk population for cancer.


Between March 1994 and December 1996, 281 patients underwent a lung volume reduction operation. All had severe obstructive lung disease with hyperinflation. The incidence of lung nodules and their management were addressed.


Of the 281 patients, 39.5% had at least one lung nodule identified. Fifty-two nodules had typical benign calcification patterns. Of the remaining nodules, 78 were resected and 20 were followed up. Seventeen nodules resected were cancerous, of which 13 were primary lung cancers. Of the resected nodules there were 28 nodules not identified by the preoperative radiologic evaluation.


Nodules are frequently seen in patients undergoing lung volume reduction operations. The overall incidence of cancer was 6.4%, with several only identified in the pathologic examination. Survival at short follow-up has been excellent for those with primary lung cancer. Nodules seen in this group of patients should be aggressively diagnosed and managed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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