Which patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should undergo intensive preoperative staging and imaging?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Marvaretta M Stevenson, MD; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Patients with certain situations who being considered for curative surgical resection should undergo invasive mediastinal staging and extrathoracic imaging (head computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with either whole-body positron-emission tomography (PET) or abdominal CT plus bone scan. Involvement of mediastinal nodes and/or metastatic disease represents a contraindication to resection. These situations are as follows [13, 7] :

  • Pancoast tumor (superior sulcus tumor)
  • Clinical T4N0/1M0 tumors
  • Two synchronous primary NSCLCs
  • A metachronous NSCLC
  • Stage I or II primary lung cancer with an isolated brain metastasis
  • Isolated adrenal metastasis
  • NSCLC tumor invading the chest wall

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