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A strategy for thoracoscopic resection of small pulmonary nodules



Preoperative procedures are often necessary to localize pulmonary nodules during thoracoscopic resection in order to reduce the necessity of resorting to thoracotomy. The aim of this report is to describe the strategy we developed to limit preoperative techniques without reducing the thoracoscopic success rate of localization.


Between January 2000 and December 2003, 183 patients underwent video thoracoscopic resection of small pulmonary nodules. The patients were divided into two groups on the basis of the radiological features of the nodule. The subjects in group 1 were operated on directly, and endothoracic ultrasonography was performed when necessary. The subjects in group 2 underwent preoperative radionuclide labeling of the nodule.


In group 1, 112 out of 119 nodules (94%) were localized. Twenty-five out of 32 lesions, neither visible nor palpable, were found by endothoracic ultrasonography. In group 2, we localized 62 out of 64 nodules (97%).


Currently, we cannot completely avoid preoperative labeling techniques for thoracoscopic resection of small pulmonary nodules. However, correct patient selection may limit this necessity, without an increased conversion rate to thoracotomy, if endothoracic ultrasonography is available.

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Correspondence to A. Mussi.

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Ambrogi, M.C., Dini, P., Boni, G. et al. A strategy for thoracoscopic resection of small pulmonary nodules. Surg Endosc 19, 1644–1647 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-005-0087-8

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  • Pulmonary nodule
  • Tecnectium-99m aggregated albumin
  • Endothoracic ultrasonography
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Lung tumor