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Chest. 2012 Oct;142(4):988-95.

Lung resection in hematologic patients with pulmonary invasive fungal disease.

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  • 1Division of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Basel, Spitalstrasse 21, 4031 Basel, Switzerland. nebikerc@uhbs.ch



Pulmonary invasive fungal disease is a frequent complication in patients with hematologic malignancies. Surgical resection in addition to antifungal therapy is an option for selected cases but often feared because of immunosuppression.


We analyzed the outcome of 71 patients undergoing lung resection for pulmonary invasive fungal disease. Most patients had leukemia, 44 underwent high-dose chemotherapy, and 18 underwent stem cell transplantation.


On the day of surgery, 44 patients were neutropenic, and 41 had a platelet count < 50 × 109/L. Forty-five nonanatomic (atypical) resections and 26 lobectomies were performed. Fungal infection was histologically proven in 53 patients. Reoperation was needed in four patients (bronchial stump dehiscence, persistent air leak, chylothorax, and seroma). Minor complications at the site of surgery occurred in 14 patients. In only two, there was an uncontrolled disseminated fungal infection. Overall, mortality at 30 days was 7% (five of 71). Long-term survival was mainly influenced by the underlying hematologic disease.


Lung resection is a therapeutic option for hematologic patients with pulmonary fungal infection. Despite immunosuppression, the perioperative morbidity and mortality is acceptable, and, therefore, the prognosis is not determined by the surgical intervention.

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