Accuracy of roentgenograms of the chest in metastases to the lungs

M. S. Didolkar, B. J. Cedermark, I. P. Goel, H. Takita, R. H. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The findings on roentgenographic and tomographic examination of the chest were compared in 63 instances of suspected pulmonary metastases. These were further compared with the findings at thoracotomy in 41 instances. Of the 60 patients, 30 had soft tissue or bone sarcomas and 30 had carcinomas arising from colon, ovary or breast, and it also included five with malignant melanoma. Three patients with sarcomas had more than one thoracotomy. The diagnosis of pulmonary metastases by roentgenography of the chest was correct in 60 of 63 instances. Tomograms showed more lesions in 14 of 33 instances of sarcomas and 14 of 30 instances of carcinomas. Thoracotomy revealed even more lesions than were detected by tomography in 21 out of 26 instances with sarcomas and eight of 15 instances of carcinomas. Of the 37 patients with a solitary metastasis detected on roentgenograms of the chest, 22 were found to have additional lesions on the tomograms, 11 of 16 sarcomas and 11 of 21 carcinomas. At thoracotomy, however, nine of ten patients with a single metastasis from sarcomas were found to have even more lesions, while, in patients with carcinomas, tomograms were found to be accurate. Routinely, prior to major ablative operations for sarcomas and before excision of pulmonary metastases, it is suggested that tomography be carried out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-905
Number of pages3
JournalSurgery Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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