Imaging requirements in the practice of pulmonary metastasectomy.
Detterbeck FC., Grodzki T., Gleeson F., Robert JH.
The primary imaging modality for the detection of pulmonary metastases is computed tomography (CT). Ideally, a helical CT scan with 3- to 5-mm reconstruction thickness or a volumetric thin section scanning should be performed within 4 weeks of pulmonary metastasectomy. A period of observation to see whether further metastases develop does not seem to allow better patient selection. If positron emission tomography is available, it may identify the extrathoracic metastatic sites in 10 to 15% of patients. Despite helical CT scan, palpation identifies the metastases not detected by imaging in 20 to 25% of patients and remains the standard. No data define the optimal interval for follow-up surveillance imaging.