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Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Apr;91(4):1059-65; discussion 1065. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.11.038.

Impact of angiolymphatic and pleural invasion on surgical outcomes for stage I non-small cell lung cancer.

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Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.



In the current study, we analyze the impact of pathologic variables (angiolymphatic invasion, visceral pleural invasion, and tumor inflammation) upon survival outcomes after segmentectomy or lobectomy for stage I non-small cell lung cancer.


A retrospective review was made of 524 patients undergoing resection of stage I non-small cell lung cancer through either lobectomy (n = 285) or anatomic segmentectomy (n = 239). Primary outcome variables include recurrence-free and overall survival. Statistical comparisons were performed with the t test and Fisher's exact test. Recurrence-free and overall survival was estimated utilizing the Kaplan-Maier method, with statistical significance being assessed by the log rank test.


The incidence of angiolymphatic invasion, visceral pleural invasion, and degree of tumor inflammation, as well as morbidity, mortality, and length of stay were similar between segmentectomy and lobectomy. The presence of angiolymphatic invasion or visceral pleural invasion was associated with a significant decrease in recurrence-free survival (p < 0.01) and overall survival (p < 0.01). There was a trend for decreased recurrence with increasing tumor inflammation (mild versus severe, p = 0.066). There was no difference in rates of local recurrence (5.6% versus 7.9%, p = 0.59) or survival (p = 0.455) between segmentectomy and lobectomy, respectively.


Angiolymphatic and visceral pleural invasion appear to be strong adverse prognostic factors after anatomic resection by segmentectomy or lobectomy for stage I non-small cell lung cancer. Overall survival is not affected by the extent of anatomical surgical resection. These data may have implications regarding the role of adjuvant systemic therapy after surgical resection for tumors with these pathologic characteristics.

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