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Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005 Apr;11(2):87-92.

Surgical treatment for lung cancer patients with poor pulmonary function.

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Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.


This retrospective study was aimed to review the risk factors of postoperative hospital death in lung cancer patients with poor pulmonary reserves. We performed surgery on 30 lung cancer patients (average age: 71 years) with less than 1.0L of preoperative forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1.0 < 1.0L) between 1982 and 2003. The preoperative FEV1.0 of these 30 patients was 0.81+/-0.1L on average. Six of 20 patients who underwent surgery between 1982 and 1997 died during their postoperative hospital stay (hospital death group). Between 1998 and 2003, 10 patients underwent surgery with uneventful postoperative courses. The clinical background was evaluated between the hospital death group (n = 6) and the survivor group (n = 24). The single-variable analysis of the preoperative conditions of the postoperative hospital death revealed the presence of two or more preoperative concomitant diseases (p < 0.001) and a performance status of grade 2 or higher (p = 0.005). Peripheral obstructive pneumonia with abscess and chronic pleurisy with adhesion influenced surgery and related to their postoperative hospital death. Whereas, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) tended to show that pulmonary resection resulted in an improvement of pulmonary functions.


To achieve better results of surgical treatment for patients with preoperative FEV1.0 < 1.0L, patient selection should be required based on precise evaluation of physical conditions and management of infectious diseases. Moreover, we thought that a preoperative performance status of grade 1 or lower, at most one preoperative concomitant disease, and a COPD are desirable for deciding the surgical indication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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