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J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014 May 19;9:92. doi: 10.1186/1749-8090-9-92.

Postoperative complications do not influence the pattern of early lung function recovery after lung resection for lung cancer in patients at risk.

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Clinic for thoracic surgery, Clinical center of Serbia, University of Belgrade school of medicine, Visegradska 26, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.



The pattern and factors influencing the lung function recovery in the first postoperative days are still not fully elucidated, especially in patients at increased risk.


Prospective study on 60 patients at increased risk, who underwent a lung resection for primary lung cancer.


complete resection and one or more known risk factors in form of COPD, cardiovascular disorders, advanced age or other comorbidities. Previous myocardial infarction, myocardial revascularization or stenting, cardiac rhythm disorders, arterial hypertension and myocardiopathy determined the increased cardiac risk. The severity of COPD was graded according to GOLD criteria. The trend of the postoperative lung function recovery was assessed by performing spirometry with a portable spirometer.


Cardiac comorbidity existed in 55%, mild and moderate COPD in 20% and 35% of patients respectively. Measured values of FVC% and FEV1% on postoperative days one, three and seven, showed continuous improvement, with significant difference between the days of measurement, especially between days three and seven. There was no difference in the trend of the lung function recovery between patients with and without postoperative complications. Whilst pO2 was decreasing during the first three days in a roughly parallel fashion in patients with respiratory, surgical complications and in patients without complications, a slight hypercapnia registered on the first postoperative day was gradually abolished in all groups except in patients with cardiac complications.


Extent of the lung resection and postoperative complications do not significantly influence the trend of the lung function recovery after lung resection for lung cancer.

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