Solitary pulmonary nodule and the surgeon

K J Dullabh, K Maharaj


A solitary pulmonary nodule is a single, well-circumscribed radiographic opacity that will be encountered by every thoracic surgeon, and management is dependent on the malignant potential of the nodule. The nodules are usually first encountered on a chest radiograph. Anatomical characteristics on computed tomography can help to better differentiate the malignant potential of the nodule. These characteristics include nodule size, volume change over time, edge morphology, presence of calcification and nodule attenuation. Other adjuncts to evaluate the malignant potential of the nodule include a functional assessment using positron emission tomography. The role of the thoracic surgeon includes both diagnostic and surgical intervention to assist with management of the malignant nodule.

Authors' affiliations

K J Dullabh, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

K Maharaj, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital

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African Journal of Thoracic and Critical Care Medicine 2020;26(1):12-17. DOI:10.7196/AJTCCM.2020.v26i1.053

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-03-19
Date published: 2020-03-19

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