Efficacy of thoracoscopic resection for multifocal bronchioloalveolar carcinoma showing pure ground-glass opacities of 20 mm or less in diameter

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2007 Oct;134(4):877-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2007.06.010.


Objective: Small bronchioloalveolar carcinoma showing pure ground-glass opacity on high-resolution computed tomographic scans is commonly multifocal. Surgical treatment for these lesions is controversial. We discuss the efficacy of video-assisted thoracic surgery for multifocal bronchioloalveolar carcinoma in patients at our institution.

Methods: Twenty-seven patients with multifocal bronchioloalveolar carcinoma lesions less than or equal to 20 mm in diameter (105 lesions) underwent video-assisted thoracic surgery pulmonary resection between 2000 and 2006. Their clinicopathologic features were investigated retrospectively.

Results: Twenty-seven patients (10 male and 17 female) with a median age of 64 years (range, 41-78 years) had 91 ground-glass opacity lesions on high-resolution computed tomography. Sixteen patients (59%) were women with no history of smoking. The distribution of bronchioloalveolar carcinoma lesions was unilateral in 14 patients and bilateral in 13 patients. Ten patients underwent wedge resection. Seventeen patients underwent single-stage segmentectomy or lobectomy (alone or with wedge resection) for technical reasons. All lesions were completely resected. One patient underwent conversion to thoracotomy for bleeding. Histologic diagnoses showed 62 bronchioloalveolar carcinoma type A lesions, 28 type B lesions, and 15 type C lesions according to Noguchi's classification, and atypical adenomatous hyperplasia in 43 lesions (13 patients). All patients had N0 disease. The median postoperative observation period was 46 months. All patients have survived to date, but new lesions have developed in 7 (26%). Patients with new lesions had a higher incidence of bronchioloalveolar carcinoma lesions of 3 mm or less in diameter (P = .0254) and atypical adenomatous hyperplasia (P = .011).

Conclusion: Video-assisted thoracic surgery management of multifocal bronchioloalveolar carcinoma yielded satisfactory results. However, the appearance of new lesions remains a problem.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Bronchiolo-Alveolar / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Bronchiolo-Alveolar / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Bronchiolo-Alveolar / surgery*
  • Adenoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adenoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted*
  • Thoracoscopy / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Treatment Outcome