Contemporary operative management of pulmonary metastases of colorectal origin

Dis Colon Rectum. 1988 Oct;31(10):786-92. doi: 10.1007/BF02560108.


The management of patients with metastatic disease from primary carcinoma of the colon and rectum is still controversial. To evaluate the results of resection of pulmonary metastases from patients with colorectal primaries, a retrospective study of all patients who underwent such resection was carried out at the teaching hospitals of McGill University and Université de Montréal. A total of 345 patients admitted with pulmonary metastases; 27 of them underwent pulmonary resection with the extent of the resection varying from wedge excision of the metastatic nodule to pneumonectomy. In 25 of the 27 patients the resection was considered curative. Eight of the 27 patients had resection of two metastatic lesions while the remaining 19 patients had resection of solitary lesions. The interval between resection of the primary colorectal malignancy and the resection of the metastatic lesion (disease-free interval) varied from 2 to 77 months with a median interval of 35 months. The five-year survival following resection of pulmonary metastases was 21 percent. A prolonged interval between treatment of the primary and resection of the pulmonary metastasis was associated with a longer survival. This retrospective study demonstrates that prolonged survival can be achieved following resection of pulmonary metastases from colorectal carcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors