Background: The management of congenital lobar emphysema has traditionally been surgical. Because of increased use of imaging, this lesion is frequently found in asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic children, prompting us to adopt a more conservative approach to these children.
Methods: All children with congenital lobar emphysema presenting between 1995 and 2002 were included. Medical records, imaging files, and pathology reports were reviewed.
Results: Twenty children (0-17 years) were identified. Eight were diagnosed antenatally. Fourteen were managed without surgery. Of the 11 symptomatic children, 6 showed spontaneous improvement.
Conclusions: The favorable outcome of both asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic children suggests that a nonoperative approach should be considered in these patients.