Thoracic neuroblastoma: A retrospective review of our institutional experience with comparison of the thoracoscopic and open approaches to resection

Marcus M. Malek, Kevin P. Mollen, Timothy D. Kane, Sohail R. Shah, Chetan Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose: Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor in children. Twenty percent of all neuroblastomas arise in the thorax. This study evaluates the open vs thoracoscopic resection of thoracic neuroblastoma. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted from the medical records of all children undergoing resection of a thoracic neuroblastoma from 1990 to 2007 at our institution. We evaluated patients who underwent open vs thoracoscopic resection and compared demographics, pathologic condition, stage, operative details, complications, and outcomes between the 2 groups. Results: A total of 149 cases of neuroblastoma were identified during the study period, 36 (24%) of which had tumor located in the thorax. Thirty-six of these patients underwent 37 operations for primary thoracic neuroblastoma. Open thoracotomy was used in 26 cases with the thoracoscopic approach to resection used in the remaining 11. We observed no differences in patient demographics including mean age, sex, or ethnicity. Tumors in both groups were of similar histologic condition, location, surgical margin, lymph node status, and stage. The length of operation was similar between the 2 groups, but length of stay was shorter in the thoracoscopic group (2.0 days; range, 1-7 days vs 3.5 days; range, 2-8 for the open group; P = .01). Estimated blood loss was also less in the minimally invasive group (median, 10 mL; range, 0-75 mL vs 25 mL; 5-650 mL in the open group; P = .02). Review of outcomes showed no significant difference in complications, recurrence, survival, or disease-free survival between these 2 groups. Conclusions: This retrospective review of thoracic neuroblastoma for an 18-year period shows that thoracoscopic resection is an effective approach to this tumor and offers shorter length of stay and decreased blood loss when compared to open thoracotomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1622-1626
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Neuroblastoma
  • Pediatric
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Thoracotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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