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J Pediatr Surg. 2008 Mar;43(3):513-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2007.10.032.

Outcomes after postnatal resection of prenatally diagnosed asymptomatic cystic lung lesions.

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The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Symptomatic congenital lung lesions require surgical resection, but the management of asymptomatic lung lesions is controversial. Some surgeons advocate observation because of concerns about potential operative morbidity and mortality, as well as a lack of long-term follow-up information. On the other hand, malignant degeneration, pneumonia, and pneumothorax are known consequences of cystic lung lesions. This study aims to assess the safety of resection for asymptomatic lung lesions that were diagnosed before birth.


A retrospective review of all patients with prenatally diagnosed lung lesions at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Penn) was performed from 1996 to 2005. The perioperative course of patients who were asymptomatic was analyzed.


One hundred five complete records of children with asymptomatic lesions were reviewed. Overall mortality was 0% and morbidity was 6.7% including 2.9% significant postoperative air leak and 3.8% transfusion requirement. Nine patients had a pathologic diagnosis that differed from preoperative radiological findings, and 9 patients had additional pathologic findings.


This series demonstrates that surgery can be performed safely on patients who were asymptomatic with congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation of the lung and other types of lung lesions with no mortality and minimal morbidity. The frequency of disparate pathologic diagnoses and the potential for development of malignancy and other complications support the argument for early resection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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