Purpose: To evaluate whether preoperative biopsy affects the outcomes of patients undergoing at least lobectomy for stage I lung adenocarcinoma. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent surgery for stage I lung adenocarcinoma between 2006 and 2013. Tumor recurrence and survival were compared between patients who underwent preoperative biopsy, including computed tomographic-guided needle biopsy and transbronchial biopsy, and those who underwent intraoperative frozen section. Results: Among 509 patients, 229 patients (44.9%) underwent preoperative biopsy and 280 patients had lung adenocarcinoma diagnosed by intraoperative frozen section (reference group). Recurrence developed in 65 (12.8%) patients within a median follow-up period of 54.4 months. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that preoperative biopsy (OR 1.97, p = 0.045), radiological solid appearance (OR 5.43, p < 0.001), and angiolymphatic invasion (OR 2.48, p = 0.010) were independent predictors of recurrence. In the overall cohort, preoperative biopsy appeared to worsen 5-year disease-free and overall survival significantly (76.6% vs. 93.0%, p < 0.001; and 83.8% vs. 94.5%, p = 0.002, respectively) compared with the reference group. After propensity matching, multivariable logistic regression still identified preoperative biopsy as an independent predictor of overall recurrence (OR 2.21, p = 0.048) after adjusting for tumor characteristics. Conclusion: Preoperative biopsy might be considered a prognosticator of recurrence of stage I adenocarcinoma of the lungs in patients who undergo at least anatomic lobectomy without postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy.
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