Congenital lung anomalies: can we postpone resection?

Nadja Colon, Cameron Schlegel, John Pietsch, Dai H Chung, Gretchen Purcell Jackson
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2012, 47 (1): 87-92

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: The management of asymptomatic congenital lung lesions is controversial. It is unclear whether elective resection provides a significant benefit. We sought to determine whether early vs delayed resection of asymptomatic congenital lung malformations resulted in complications.

METHODS: Institutional billing records were queried for patients with lung malformations over a 10-year period. Medical records were reviewed for demographics, type of anomaly, symptoms, management, and procedural or disease-related complications.

RESULTS: Eighty-seven patients were identified. The diagnoses included congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (41%), bronchogenic cyst (19.3%), sequestration (13.2%), and congenital lobar emphysema (12.0%). Fifty patients were observed for some period. Eleven became symptomatic, and 47 underwent resection at a mean age of 11 months. There was no difference in the type of resection, length of hospitalization, or complication rate between patients who underwent early vs delayed resection. There were no occurrences of malignancy or death.

CONCLUSIONS: In our series, there was no difference in measurable outcomes between early and delayed resection of congenital lung lesions. These data provide some support for a management strategy that might include observation with delayed resection for asymptomatic patients.

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