Localized Organizing Pneumonia: Report of 21 Cases

Giulio Melloni, George Cremona, Alessandro Bandiera, Gianluigi Arrigoni, Nathalie Rizzo, Roberto Varagona, Giovanni Muriana, Angelo Carretta, Paola Ciriaco, Barbara Canneto, Piero Zannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Thoracic surgeons have limited experience with treating localized organizing pneumonia owing to its rare occurrence in routine clinical practice. Methods: We retrospectively investigated the clinicopathologic features of 21 patients with localized organizing pneumonia observed between 2001 and 2004. Results: There were 15 men and 6 women. Mean age was 63 years. Eight patients (38%) were symptomatic. Computed tomographic scan showed a single lesion in 17 patients (12 nodules and 5 masses) and bilateral lesions in 4. Wedge resection was performed in 16 patients and lobectomy in 5. There was no operative mortality. Follow-up was complete in all patients (range, 2 to 46 months; median, 20 months). Surgery was curative in 15 of 17 patients with a single lesion, and no recurrence was observed (p <0.005). The remaining 2 patients with a single lesion (2 masses) had a local relapse with the appearance of nodular lesions in the residual parenchyma. Both these patients received steroids with resolution of the lesions. All 4 patients with bilateral lesions who underwent surgery for diagnostic purposes received steroids with improvement of the radiologic aspect in 3 and stabilization of the lesions in 1. Conclusions: Clinical and radiologic findings of localized organizing pneumonia are nonspecific, and this unusual entity is difficult to differentiate from a primary or metastatic tumor. Surgical resection allows both diagnosis and cure. However, considering the benignity of the lesion and the efficacy of steroids, major pulmonary resections should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1946-1951
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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