JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Surgical resection is sufficient for incidentally discovered solitary pulmonary nodule caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria in asymptomatic patients.

Incidentally discovered solitary pulmonary nodules (SPN) caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is uncommon, and its optimal treatment strategy remains uncertain. This cohort study determined the clinical characteristics and outcome of asymptomatic patients with NTM-SPN after surgical resection. Resected SPNs with culture-positive for NTM in six hospitals in Taiwan during January, 2010 to January, 2017 were identified. Asymptomatic patients without a history of NTM-pulmonary disease (PD) or same NTM species isolated from the respiratory samples were selected. All were followed until May 1, 2019. A total of 43 patients with NTM-SPN were enrolled. Mycobacterium avium complex (60%) and M. kansasii (19%) were the most common species. The mean age was 61.7 ± 13.4. Of them, 60% were female and 4% had history of pulmonary tuberculosis. The NTM-SPN was removed by wedge resection in 38 (88%), lobectomy in 3 (7%) and segmentectomy in 2 (5%). Caseating granuloma was the most common histologic feature (58%), while chronic inflammation accounts for 23%. Mean duration of the follow-up was 5.2 ± 2.8 years (median: 4.2 years [2.5-7.0]), there were no mycobacteriology recurrence or NTM-PD development. In conclusion, surgical resection is likely to curative for incidentally discovered NTM-SPN in asymptomatic patients without culture evidence of the same NTM species from respiratory specimens, and routine mycobacterium culture for resected SPN might be necessary for differentiating pulmonary tuberculosis and NTM because further treatment differs.

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