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Total Atelectasis of the Lung Secondary to Malignant Airway Obstruction

Response to Radiation Therapy

Reddy, Sarada P., M.D.; Marks, James E., M.D.

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: October 1990 - Volume 13 - Issue 5 - p 394–400
Article: PDF Only

From 1980 to 1986. 48 patients with bronchogenic carcinoma were diagnosed to have total atelectasis of the lung as a result of tumor obstructing the mainstcm bronchus. These patients were treated with external beam radiotherapy with doses ranging from 30 to 60 Gy given in 2–6 weeks. Bronchial obstruction was relieved in 74% of patients, resulting in complete or partial reexpansion of the lung. Seventy-one percent of patients irradiated within 2 weeks after radiological evidence of atelectasis had complete reexpansion of their lungs, whereas only 23% of those irradiated after 2 weeks showed a similar response. Atelectasis recurred in 12% of those who initially responded to radiation therapy with complete or partial reexpansion.

Department of Radiotherapy. Loyola University of Chicago. Strich School of Medicine. Maywood. and Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital. Hines. Illinois.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.