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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 February;58(1):67-70

language: Italian

Intraoperative pleural lavage for restaging of bronchogenic carcinoma

Pavia R., Mulè V., Angiò L., Monaco F., Smedile F., Fabiano G., Mondello B., Monaco M.


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Background. Although lung cancer staging has been recently reviewed, a significant number of recurrences and an increased incidence of mortality is common also in the initial stages of the disease. All that is probably due to disease staging underestimation and emphasizes that an exact system of staging cannot be considered a stand-alone prognostic and therapeutic index.
Methods. Between October 2000 and November 2001, 37 patients have undergone surgical intervention for NSCLC in our Surgical Unit; 28 of them were male (75.7%), 9 female (24.3%), aged between 55 and 70. Neither cancer-related pleural effusion, nor mediastinal lymphoadenopathy had been detected under Rx and TC inspection in any patient.
Results. Pre-surgical pleural washing (PLC), which defines the positiveness of the cytological result (D+), in 17 patients (45.9%) was positive, in the remaining 20 (54.1%) negative. The positiveness of PLC was 35.3% (6/17) and 64.7% (11/17) in the initial stage of T (T1 and T2) and in the advanced stage (T3 and T4) respectively.
Conclusions. On the basis of personal experience, the authors, suggest that pre-surgical resection pleural washing searching premature microscopic pleural disseminations in NSCLC-affected patients should become an important prognostic factor for the disease outcome. Moreover, they emphasize how this procedure is easy, with a small increase in the surgical intervention time, and nearly costless.

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