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Lung Cancer. 2006 Aug;53(2):241-3. Epub 2006 Jun 19.

Pulmonary artery reconstruction by a custom-made heterologous pericardial conduit in the treatment of lung cancer.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, via Ripamonti 435, 20141 Milan, Italy.


Lung cancer may involve the pulmonary artery (PA) either by direct extension of the primary tumor or by invasion of the hilar lymph nodes. In these instances, a radical resection is usually a pneumonectomy despite distal functioning lung tissue. To spare the lung parenchyma, angioplastic procedures requiring removal of a portion of the arterial wall or a circumferential resection with arterial reconstruction have been used. Several techniques of pulmonary arterioplasty have been explored suggesting that the incidence of postoperative complications is acceptably low and long-term local control can be achieved. Over a period of 7 years, 84 angioplastic procedures (alone or associated with bronchoplasty) were performed at our institution. Partial PA resection was performed in 80 (95.2%) patients. Reconstruction was performed by running suture in 63 (75%) patients and using a pericardial patch in 17 (20.2%) cases (16 autologous and 1 heterologous). A complete PA resection and reconstruction was performed in four (4.8%) patients by a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) prosthesis (n=2) and by a custom-made bovine pericardial conduit (n=2). The latter are the topic of this report.

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