The solitary circumscribed pulmonary nodule seems to have become the hunting ground of the thoracic surgeon in recent years. Report after report has affirmed that primary resectable pulmonary malignancy may present itself in this form (Fig. 1).1-24
There is thus a good argument for removing all solitary pulmonary nodules. The argument runs as follows. Primary lung cancer has been seen in patients as young as 21 years of age. Furthermore, patients with nonmalignant nodules, including tuberculosis and other infections, are very seldom made worse by surgery. It is important to both physician and patient to know the cause of the lesion, not only from the standpoint of further treatment but also from that of prognosis.25-29 In short, tissue diagnosis permits a reliable prognosis and usually sound therapy.
The situation was becoming reasonably clarified until May, 1956, when Holin and associates presented at the annual meeting of the American