Visceral pleural invasion
Visceral pleural invasion is a feature that can be seen in lung cancers. It is defined as tumour extension beyond the elastic layer of the visceral pleura. It is considered an aggressive sign and one of the most important adverse prognostic factors in non-small cell lung cancers 1.
There are three described levels of invasion (based on histology):
- PL0: represents tumour invading either the subpleural lung parenchyma or superficially the pleural connective tissue beneath the elastic layer
- PL1: refers to a tumour that invades beyond the elastic layer without being exposed on the pleural surface
- PL2: refers to a tumour that is exposed on the pleural surface, but it does not involve adjacent anatomic structures
The presence of type 2 pleural tags has been shown to have a moderate association with visceral pleural invasion 7.
According to one study, there was ~20% (range 10-30%) worse 5-year survival in tumours with visceral pleural invasion compared to those without visceral pleural invasion.
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