April 1980

The Use of Thoracoscopy in the Diagnosis of Pleural Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.

Arch Surg. 1980;115(4):420-421. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380040048008

• Seventeen patients (ten male and seven female) between the ages of 21 and 76 years underwent thoracoscopy from 1976 through 1978 by the Stanford University Thoracic Surgical Service. There was no morbidity or mortality. This technique was used when other conventional methods such as thoracentesis and pleural biopsy failed to obtain a diagnosis of suspected thoracic pathology. Thoracoscopy was diagnostic in 16 of 17 cases. The diagnosis of malignancy was made in 11 cases, whereas benign disease was found in the remaining six cases. Of the latter group, there was one false-negative result, which on subsequent thoracotomy was diagnosed as recurrent Hodgkin's disease. The current revival of thoracoscopy as a diagnostic entity is proving to be very valuable in the evaluation of thoracic disease. An increased awareness of the tool and its use should decrease the number of major thoracotomy procedures.

(Arch Surg 115:420-421, 1980)