Thoracoscopy found a ‘valuable and safe’ diagnostic tool

18 Aug 2017 by under Research/Treatment

220px Effusionhalf 100x100 Thoracoscopy found a valuable and safe diagnostic tool A less invasive option than thorascopic surgery, which requires multiple incisions, thoracoscopy uses a single thin, flexible  fiber optic tube to allow surgeons to visually inspect the lungs for the cause of , excess lung fluid commonly associated with and other cancers. Chinese researchers have recently confirmed thoracoscopy is a “valuable and safe” diagnostic tool for pleural patients.

Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs and is associated with asbestos exposure. It is often difficult to diagnose because symptoms mimic those of other diseases and cancers, including lung cancer. For this reasons, patients presenting with a thickening of the pleural membrane of the lungs or pleural effusion are often sent for a thorascoscopy. According to Surviving Mesothelioma, Chinese researchers wanted to evaluate exactly how beneficial the procedure is for mesothelioma patients and those with other lung-related cancers who experience pleural effusion.

To do so, researchers reviewed 833 thoracoscopies from 2005 to 2014, specifically the 342 patients who were ultimately found to have pleural effusions. They found “no serious adverse events associated with thoracoscopy,” according to the study. “The top three frequent causes of MPE were metastatic carcinoma (79.5%), malignant mesothelioma (10.2%), and lymphoma (2.9%). Among metastatic malignancies, the most common cancer was lung cancer (85.2%), followed by breast cancer (4.4%), ovarian cancer (2.2%), pancreatic cancer (1.8%).”

Though mesothelioma is relatively rare, it is usually deadly within a year of diagnosis because it is diagnosed in its latest stages, meaning diagnostic tools with few side effects are critically important. “Medical thoracoscopy is a valuable and safe tool in diagnosing malignant pleural effusion with minimal complication rates,” the study concludes.


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