Between 1966 and 1996, 17 patients, comprising 1 child and 16 adults, underwent surgical treatment for bronchogenic cysts at the National Cancer Center Hospital. The bronchogenic cysts were located in the mediastinum in 11 patients and in the pulmonary parenchyma in 6. Of the 17 patients, 5 (29.4%) manifested symptoms, being more frequently seen in those with intrapulmonary cysts than in those with mediastinal cysts. Chest radiographs were ineffective for accurate preoperative diagnosis, but accurate diagnosis was possible with 69.2% of computed tomograpy (CT) scans and 100% of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. MRI also proved very useful for qualitatively diagnosing the mediastinal tumors as cystic or solid. Surgery was performed through a thoracotomy in 14 patients and by video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) in 3 patients, achieving complete resection in 16 patients. In one patient, a mediastinal bronchogenic cyst was excised by VATS and incompletely resected because of tight adhesion to the membranous part of the trachea; however, no late complication or recurrence developed after the residual cystic wall had been ablated by electrocautery. VATS, which is an easy procedure to perform with only minimal surgical invasion, may be indicated for bronchogenic cysts if patients who undergo incomplete resection can be followed up carefully. Recent advances in imaging techniques have made it unnecessary to perform surgical excision for diagnostic confirmation, but we recommend surgery for most patients to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
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