Treating empyema thoracis using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and open decortication procedures: a systematic review and meta-analysis by meta-mums tool

Massoud Sokouti, Ramin Sadeghi, Saeid Pashazadeh, Saeed Eslami Hasan Abadi, Mohsen Sokouti, Morteza Ghojazadeh, Babak Sokouti
Archives of Medical Science: AMS 2019, 15 (4): 912-935

Introduction: The optimal treatment of empyema thoracis is still debatable between academics and surgeons. This study reviews advantages and disadvantages of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and open thoracotomy decortication (OTD) considering outcomes of empyema thoracis.

Materials and methods: A descriptive Boolean query was used for searching three databases to extract the published studies up to 27 March 2017. The outcomes of VATS and OTD were extracted and assessed by random-effects model of meta-analysis. The Egger's test and trim-and-fill method were used for analyzing publication bias, and, meta-regression and subgroup analyses were done for determining heterogeneity.

Results: A total of 2219 patients, from 13 studies, meeting the inclusion criteria were selected and subjected to further analyses. Of 2219 patients, 1120 were treated by VATS and the remaining were subjected to OTD. During VATS, 252 patients were converted to OTD. Forest plots showed that VATS was far superior in terms of incidence of duration of hospital stay and operative time (SMDs = 1.189, 1.565; p < 0.001, < 0.001) compared to OTD. Mortality, prolonged air leakage, wound infection, and recurrence rates (ORs = 1.234, 2.564, 1.363, 1.962; p = 0.576, 0.077, 0.0692, 0.4) had no advantages for both procedures while failure or conversion rate (OR = 0.198, p < 0.001) of VATS was more than those of OTD.

Conclusions: The results of the current research suggest no trends of superior outcomes with VATS in the treatment of empyema thoracis. Hence, VATS and OTD could be recommended as treatments for empyema thoracis.

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