Diagnosis and treatment of mediastinal tumors by thoracoscopy

Objectives: Thoracoscopic management of mediastinal tumors is still subject to analysis. Seventy-three patients were submitted to thoracoscopy for the treatment of mediastinal masses and were analyzed retrospectively, in order to evaluate the effectiveness and complications of the procedure. Methods: Between 1983 and 1999, 21 conventional thoracoscopies and 52 video-assisted thoracic surgeries were performed (33 for diagnostic purposes and 40 for therapy). Patient ages ranged from two to 81 years (mean 43.8) with a slight predominance of females over males (41 versus 32). All underwent general anesthesia using simple (22) or double lumen (51) intubation. Results: The histological type of tumor was identified in all patients. For therapeutic purposes, conversion to thoracotomy was necessary in nine patients. The reasons were tumor size and invasion of nearby structures, difficulty to continue dissection, to perform an upper lobectomy, and to suture the iatrogenic diaphragm lesion. Four patients died during the first 30 postoperative days as a consequence of their primary pathology. Conclusions: Thoracoscopy was confirmed to be an effective diagnostic and therapeutic alternative for the treatment of mediastinal disorders.

Thoracoscopy; thoracic surgery; mediastinal neoplasms; mediastinal cysts


Sociedade Brasileira de Pneumologia e Tisiologia Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Departamento de Patologia, Laboratório de Poluição Atmosférica, Av. Dr. Arnaldo, 455, 01246-903 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel: +55 11 3060-9281 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: jpneumo@terra.com.br