Is there a role for routine mediastinoscopy in patients with peripheral T1 lung cancers?

Robert W. Tahara, Rudy P. Lackner, L. Michael Graver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The role of surgical staging of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) continues to evolve. This report describes our findings utilizing routine cervical mediastinoscopy in the evaluation of peripheral T1 (<3 cm) lung tumors. METHODS: Retrospectively 30 patients with peripheral T1 lesions and CT scans negative for pathologic adenopathy were identified over a 3-year period. Cervical mediastinoscopy was performed prior to VATS/thoracotomy during the same operative session. RESULTS: Mediastinoscopy was performed in 29 of 30 patients. For patients with malignancy (27 of 30), 3 of 27 (11%) had mediastinoscopy positive for malignancy and no further resection performed. Overall the subgroup of patients with bronchogenic carcinomas had positive mediastinal involvement identified in 5 of 24 (21%) after mediastinoscopy or complete resection. CONCLUSIONS: A significant number of patients with small peripheral lung cancers harbor radiographically occult lymph node involvement. Mediastinoscopy facilitates identification of patients with regionally advanced disease prior to resection, allowing neoadjuvant therapy and avoiding unnecessary resections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-492
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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