Asymptomatic congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation of the lung: Is it time to operate?

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Abstract

Objective:

The optimal management of congenital adenomatoid malformation of the lung remains controversial. Prenatal ultrasonographic analysis has increasingly discovered asymptomatic lesions, raising questions about the need for and timing of surgical treatment for asymptomatic congenital adenomatoid malformation. The aim of our study was to analyze the short-term postoperative outcome of symptomatic congenital adenomatoid malformations compared with asymptomatic malformations.

Methods:

All the data of patients presenting with congenital adenomatoid malformations histologically diagnosed and operated on between 1998 and 2005 at our institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were divided into 2 groups: group A comprised asymptomatic infants, and group B comprised symptomatic infants. Major outcomes considered were the length of ventilation, pleural drainage, and hospital stay. Postoperative morbidity and mortality were also evaluated. Asymptomatic patients were further stratified for age at the time of the operation to evaluate whether age at surgical intervention affects the outcome. The Fisher's exact and Mann-Whitney tests were used as appropriate.

Results:

Fifty-seven patients were consecutively treated. Thirty-five patients were given diagnoses of asymptomatic lesions and were enrolled into group A, whereas 22 patients presenting with symptoms were entered into group B. The lengths of ventilation, pleural drainage, and hospital stay were significantly longer in patients with symptomatic congenital adenomatoid malformations. Moreover, symptomatic patients presented with a higher postoperative complication rate. The age-based stratification of asymptomatic children did not show any difference on either postoperative mortality or major outcome considered.

Conclusion:

Children with congenital adenomatoid malformations operated on when asymptomatic present a better short-term outcome than symptomatic children. In addition, age at the time of the operation does not negatively affect the outcome. Our findings support early surgical treatment for asymptomatic congenital adenomatoid malformation.

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