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Ann Thorac Surg. 2001 Oct;72(4):1149-54.

Morbidity and mortality after neoadjuvant therapy for lung cancer: the risks of right pneumonectomy.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.



The risks of complications in patients undergoing thoracotomy after neoadjuvant therapy for nonsmall cell lung cancer remain controversial. We reviewed our experience to define it further.


All patients undergoing thoracotomy after induction chemotherapy from 1993 through 1999 were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate methods for logistic regression model were used to identify predictors of adverse events.


Induction chemotherapy included mitomycin, vinblastine, and cisplatin (179 patients), carboplatin and paclitaxel (152 patients), and other combinations (139 patients). Eighty-five patients (18%) received preoperative radiation. Operations were pneumonectomy (97 patients), lobectomy (297 patients), lesser resection (18 patients), and exploration only (58 patients). Total mortality was 7 of 297 (2.4%) and 11 of 97 (11.3%) for all lobectomies and pneumonectomies, respectively, but mortality was 11 of 46 (23.9%) for right pneumonectomy. Complications developed in 179 patients (38%). By multiple regression analysis, right pneumonectomy (p = 0.02), blood loss (p = 0.01), and forced expiratory volume in one second (percent predicted) (p = 0.01) predicted complications. No factor emerged to explain this high right pneumonectomy mortality rate.


Pulmonary resection after neoadjuvant therapy is associated with acceptable overall morbidity and mortality. However, right pneumonectomy is associated with a significantly increased risk and should be performed only in selected patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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