Determining the appropriate sleeve lobectomy versus pneumonectomy ratio in central non-small cell lung cancer patients: an audit of an aggressive policy of pneumonectomy avoidance

Gómez-Caro, Abel; Garcia, Samuel; Reguart, Noemí; Cladellas, Esther; Arguis, Pedro; Sanchez, Marcelo; Gimferrer, Josep Maria
March 2011
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Mar2011, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p352
Academic Journal
Abstract: Objective: To study the outcomes of broncho±angioplastic sleeve lobectomy (SL) versus pneumonectomy (PN), and the PN:SL ratio after an aggressive policy of parenchyma-sparing surgery to improve postoperative complications rate and long-term quality of life (QoL). Methods: A prospective study was conducted in 490 patients with non-small cell lung cancer between 2005 and 2009. All patients not suitable for standard lobectomy were scheduled for SL, if possible, or for PN; eight patients with functional impairment were directly scheduled for SL. Results: Of 76 procedures, 21 (4%) were PN and 55 (11%) SL (29 bronchoplastic, seven bronchovascular, seven angioplastic; 11 extended to more than one lobe). There were no surgical, oncological or physiological preoperative differences between the groups. The 5-year PN:SL ratio was 1:2.6 (2005: 1:2.1; 2006: 1:2.6; 2007: 1:3.6; 2008: 1:3; 2009: 1:3.5). SL and PN mortality were 2 (3.6%) and 1 (5%), respectively. Postoperative complications occurred in 18 (32%) SL and 7 (33%) PN patients. pN1 (p =0.04), vascular reconstruction and upper-left SL were risk factors for postoperative complications of SL (p =0.03) but were not detected as a mortality risk. Overall 5-year survival was 61% for SL and 31% for PN. Survival at 5 years was significantly higher for SL (p =0.03, Kaplan–Meier). Age <70 years and SL were positive factors for long-term survival. In multivariate modelling, both remained positive factors. Surviving PN patients experienced significantly greater loss of respiratory function and lower QoL than those who avoided this surgery (preoperative score, PN vs SL: 52 vs 51; 3 months, 41 vs 43; and 6 months, 42 vs 51, p =0.04). The adjuvant treatment complement was higher in SL at 34 (62%) than at PN 10 (47%). The side effects of this treatment were more frequent in patients with more extirpated parenchyma (p =0.04). Conclusions: Parenchyma-sparing procedures can reduce the PN rate to less than 10%. A PN:SL index lower than 1:1.5 as a quality standard in a specialised thoracic unit should encourage the use of broncho-angioplastic procedures and improve patient outcomes. Long-term survival, QoL, postoperative lung function test and tolerance of adjuvant therapies are significantly better after SL than PN intervention.


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