Lung resections in children for congenital and acquired lesions

Pediatr Surg Int. 2007 Sep;23(9):851-9. doi: 10.1007/s00383-007-1940-8.


We reviewed a single-center experience of pediatric lung resections for various congenital and acquired benign lung conditions. Thirty-five children underwent lung resections between 1998 and 2006, their age ranging from 8 days to 12 years (mean 3 years), with a male:female ratio of 4:1. Twelve patients were neonates. Antenatal diagnosis was available in only one patient. The presenting symptoms were respiratory distress and respiratory tract infections. Imaging with chest X-ray with/without a CT scan picked up the lesion in all cases. Preoperative ventilation was required for five patients. One patient had pneumothorax at presentation; however, ten patients had inadvertent intercostal tube insertion before surgical referral. The surgical procedures performed included lobectomy (28), segmentectomy (3), and pneumonectomy in 4 cases. Twenty-one patients underwent emergency surgery. Six patients required postoperative ventilation. The histopathological diagnosis was congenital lobar emphysema (CLE) (9), congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM) (9), bronchiectasis (9), sequestration (3), atelectasis (1), lung abscess (1), unilobar tuberculosis (1), hydatid cyst (1), and foreign body with collapse (1). There was considerable discrepancy between the preoperative diagnosis based on imaging and the postoperative histopathological diagnosis. Postoperative complications included atelectasis (2), pneumothorax (2) and fluid collection (4 cases). Three patients died, one from compromised cardiac function, one from overwhelming sepsis and one from respiratory failure due to severe bilateral CCAM; the rest of the patients made a satisfactory recovery. At short-term follow-up all patients were doing well. Pulmonary resections are necessary for various congenital and acquired lung lesions in children and can be done safely in a pediatric hospital setup. Proper preoperative diagnosis can avoid inadvertent intercostal tube insertion in patients with congenital cystic lung lesions. The histopathological diagnosis often differs from the radiological diagnosis. Emergency lobectomies for acute respiratory distress, even in neonates, result in a satisfactory outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / surgery*
  • Lung Diseases / congenital
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases / surgery*
  • Male
  • Pneumonectomy*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / complications
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome