Video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy in non-small-cell lung cancer patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with lower pulmonary complications than open lobectomy: a propensity score-matched analysis.Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014 Apr; 45(4):640-5.EJ
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at an increased risk of pulmonary complications after pulmonary resection. This study aimed to identify whether video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy can reduce postoperative pulmonary complications compared with lobectomy by thoracotomy in NSCLC patients with COPD.
Among a total of 1502 NSCLC patients who underwent lobectomy from April 2005 to June 2012 at the Seoul National University Hospital, 446 (29.7%) were diagnosed with COPD based on the spirometric criteria of the Global Initiative for COPD. Among the 446 patients, 283 presented with stage I NSCLC and were selected for this study. The study patients were divided into two groups: patients undergoing VATS (n = 160) lobectomy and patients undergoing thoracotomy (n = 123) lobectomy. A propensity analysis that incorporated preoperative variables, such as age, sex, Charlson comorbidity index, extent of smoking, preoperative pulmonary function, size of the mass, histological type of the tumour and additional lung resection, was performed, and postoperative outcomes were compared.
Matching based on propensity scores produced 91 patients in each group for the analysis of postoperative outcomes. There were only three operative mortalities in the thoracotomy group, and all of these patients died of postoperative pneumonia. The overall incidence of postoperative complications was 32.9% (30 of 91) and 22.0% (20 of 91) in the thoracotomy group and in the VATS group, respectively (P = 0.14). Compared with lobectomy by thoracotomy, VATS lobectomy was associated with a lower incidence of pulmonary complications (1.1 vs 12.1%; P < 0.01), shorter operation time (165 vs 201 min; P < 0.01) and shorter length of stay (6.0 vs 9.0 days; P = 0.04).
VATS lobectomy is associated with a lower incidence of pulmonary complications compared with lobectomy by thoracotomy in stage I NSCLC patients with COPD. VATS lobectomy may be the preferred strategy for appropriately selected NSCLC patients with COPD.