Optimizing Resources in Lung Cancer Surgery

Performing routine needle biopsy of suspicious lung nodules in surgical candidates appears to have several benefits, according to Canadian investigators. With routine needle biopsy, 16% of patients avoided operation and only 2.7% underwent resection of a pathologically benign nodule. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 100%, 75%, 99.7%, and 100%, respectively. Saved operation time was an average of 165 hours, at a cost that was 44.5% ($395,500) that of upfront wedge resection for tissue diagnosis ($888,300).

Abstract: Annals of Thoracic Surgery, November 2012.

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