JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

Mortality and Respiratory Failure After Thoracoscopic Lung Biopsy for Interstitial Lung Disease

Michael T Durheim, Sunghee Kim, Brian C Gulack, William R Burfeind, Henning A Gaissert, Andrzej S Kosinski, Matthew G Hartwig
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2017, 104 (2): 465-470
28527960

BACKGROUND: Surgical lung biopsy contributes to establishing a specific diagnosis among many patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD). The risks of death and respiratory failure associated with elective thoracoscopic surgical lung biopsy, and patient characteristics associated with these outcomes, are not well understood.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent elective thoracoscopic lung biopsy for ILD between 2008 and 2014, according to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons database. The study determined the incidence of operative mortality and of postoperative respiratory failure. Multivariable models were used to identify risk factors for these adverse outcomes.

RESULTS: Among 3,085 patients, 46 (1.5%) died before hospital discharge or within 30 days of thoracoscopic lung biopsy. Postoperative respiratory failure occurred in 90 (2.9%) patients. Significant risk factors for operative mortality among patients with ILD included a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension, preoperative corticosteroid treatment, and low diffusion capacity.

CONCLUSIONS: Elective thoracoscopic lung biopsy among patients with ILD is associated with a low risk of operative mortality and postoperative respiratory failure. Attention to the presence of pulmonary hypertension, preoperative corticosteroid treatment, and diffusion capacity may help inform risk stratification for thoracoscopic lung biopsy among patients with ILD.

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