Study objectives: Solitary fibrous tumors of the pleura (SFTPs) are slow-growing neoplasms. Approximately 800 cases have been reported in the literature to date. The aim of this study was to address our experience with the management of SFTPs and to evaluate the advantage of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) in SFTP treatment.
Design: Retrospective analysis of our experience.
Setting: Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Nara Medical University.
Patients: From January 1992 to August 2002, 13 patients with a SFTP were referred to us for surgical resection after VATS was adopted in our hospital. The study group consisted of seven men and six women with a mean age of 49.8 years (age range, 37 to 72 years).
Results: Surgical excision was performed with VATS only in nine patients, with VATS plus a small thoracotomy in three patients, and by a posterolateral thoracotomy without VATS in one patient. The mean chest-drain duration was 1.3 days (range, 1 to 3 days), and the mean duration of hospital stay was 8.6 days (range, 3 to 30 days). Eleven tumors, originating from the visceral pleura, were pedunculate, and 2 tumors from the parietal pleura were not pedunculate. Two cases were focally characterized by a mitotic count in excess of four mitoses per 10 high-power fields and by cellular pleomorphism. Follow-up periods ranged from 6 to 120 months, with a mean of 49.7 months and a median of 42 months. All patients have remained well with no recurrence or metastasis.
Conclusions: Complete surgical resection is the treatment of choice for SFTPs. For the pedunculate tumors, therefore, VATS is a powerful and useful approach. Even when it is necessary to perform a small thoracotomy in addition to VATS for the removal of a large tumor, VATS may play an important role in reducing the size of the thoracotomy incision, which results in less invasive surgery. To minimize postoperative morbidity, VATS may be the most promising surgical approach for the resection of SFTPs.