Non-operative management of extralobar pulmonary sequestration: a safe alternative to resection?

  • Victoria K. Robson
  • Hester F. Shieh
  • Jay M. Wilson
  • Terry L. BuchmillerEmail author
Original Article



This retrospective cohort study compares the natural history of patients with extralobar sequestrations (ELS) who do not undergo intervention with those who undergo resection to assess the safety of non-operative management.


126 patients with pulmonary sequestrations or congenital pulmonary airway malformations born between 1999 and 2016 were identified. 49 patients had ELS on postnatal imaging, but two were excluded for associated congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Demographic and clinical data were retrospectively reviewed, with phone follow-up for non-operative patients with no records for > 1 year. Statistical analysis was by Fisher’s exact test or Wilcoxon signed-rank test (two-tailed p < 0.05).


40% (19/47) were managed non-operatively and 60% (28/47) underwent resection. Non-operative patients were less likely to have an intrathoracic ELS: 47% (9/19) vs. 75% (21/28), p = 0.07. No symptoms were attributable directly to the ELS. Non-operative patients had median follow-up 3.2 years, during which time 88% (15/17) of ELS decreased in size on serial imaging. For patients who underwent resection, there was 100% concordance between imaging and intraoperative findings. There was no evidence of inflammation, infection or malignancy on final pathology, though 57% (16/28) of resected lesions had foci of non-aerated cysts.


Although further longitudinal study is required, this study supports the safety of non-operative ELS management.


Congenital lung malformation Non-operative management Extralobar sequestration Bronchopulmonary sequestration Congenital pulmonary airway malformation 



H.F.S. was supported by the Joshua Ryan Rappaport Fellowship of the Department of Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Author contributions

Study conception and design: VKR, HFS, JMW, TLB. Data acquisition: VKR, HFS, TLB. Analysis and data interpretation: VKR, HFS, JMW, TLB. Drafting of the manuscript: VKR, HFS. Critical revision: VKR, HFS, JMW, TLB

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria K. Robson
    • 1
  • Hester F. Shieh
    • 2
  • Jay M. Wilson
    • 2
  • Terry L. Buchmiller
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and PediatricsBoston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryBoston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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