Airways colonizations in patients undergoing lung cancer surgery

D’Journo, Xavier Benoit; Rolain, Jean Marc; Doddoli, Christophe; Raoult, Didier; Thomas, Pascal Alexandre
August 2011
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Aug2011, Vol. 40 Issue 2, p309
Academic Journal
Summary: Lung cancer remains the main leading cancer-related cause of death in the world. For early-stage tumor, surgery stands out as the best curative option offering the greatest chance for cure. Despite improvement of per- and postoperative management, surgery continues to carry a high morbidity with a significant mortality. Among postoperative complications, respiratory failures (nosocomial pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome) are currently the most frequent and serious, as well as being the primary cause of hospital death, after a lung resection for cancer. Because infectious etiologies have been highly incriminated in the development of these pulmonary complications, microbial airways colonizations (AWCs) are supposed to be an essential first step in the pathogenesis of these failures occurring in hospitalized and chronically ill individuals. These patients fulfill all the predisposing factors to bronchial colonizations and are particularly exposed to the development of respiratory failures in the postoperative setting, when secretion clearance and cough reflex are impaired. Under immunosuppressive conditions, AWC should act in a manner that increases its ability to stimulate microorganisms and increase the risks of superimposed infections. Few studies have addressed the problem of AWCs in patients submitted for lung cancer surgery. Because of several limitations, especially the lack of exhaustive microbiological studies, the conclusions that can be reached remain inconclusive. This review aims to report the existing literature on this critical and controversial issue, focusing on their specific incidence, their predisposing factors, their correlation with development of respiratory failures, and, in turn, the reliability of the current antibiotic prophylaxis for their prevention.


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