Long-term impact of developing a postoperative pulmonary complication after lung surgery

Sebastian T Lugg, Paula J Agostini, Theofano Tikka, Amy Kerr, Kerry Adams, Ehab Bishay, Maninder S Kalkat, Richard S Steyn, Pala B Rajesh, David R Thickett, Babu Naidu
Thorax 2016, 71 (2): 171-6

INTRODUCTION: Postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC) such as atelectasis and pneumonia are common following lung resection. PPCs have a significant clinical impact on postoperative morbidity and mortality. We studied the long-term effects of PPCs and sought to identify independent risk factors.

METHODS: A prospective observational study involved all patients following lung resection in a regional thoracic centre over 4 years. PPCs were assessed daily in hospital using the Melbourne group scale based on chest X-ray, white cell count, fever, purulent sputum, microbiology, oxygen saturations, physician diagnosis and intensive therapy unit (ITU)/high-dependency unit readmission. Follow-up included hospital length of stay (LOS), 30-day readmissions, and mortality.

RESULTS: 86 of 670 patients (13%) who had undergone a lung resection developed a PPC. Those patients had a significantly longer hospital LOS in days (13, 95% CI 10.5-14.9 vs 6.3, 95% CI 5.9 to 6.7; p<0.001) and higher rates of ITU admissions (28% vs 1.9%; p<0.001) and 30-day hospital readmissions (20.7% vs 11.9%; p<0.05). Significant independent risk factors for development of PPCs were COPD and smoking (p<0.05), not age. Excluding early postoperative deaths, developing a PPC resulted in a significantly reduced overall survival in months (40, 95% CI 34 to 44 vs 46, 95% CI 44 to 47; p=0.006). Those who developed a PPC had a higher rate of non-cancer-related deaths (11% vs 5%; p=0.020). PPC is a significant independent risk factor for late deaths in non-small cell lung cancer patients (HR 2.0, 95% CI 1.9 to 3.2; p=0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: Developing a PPC after thoracic surgery is common and is associated with a poorer long-term outcome.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"