Background: Selection criteria for lung volume reduction surgery are still being refined. We sought to determine whether preoperative features could be used to predict early morbidity or mortality.
Methods: We reviewed preoperative characteristics of the first 89 patients who underwent lung volume reduction surgery at the Alfred Hospital. Data included arterial blood gases, prednisolone use, pulmonary function tests, 6-minute walk test, and anesthetic time. Length of stay and reintubation for respiratory failure were used as markers of morbidity.
Results: Findings included PaCO2 of 43 +/- 0.7 mm Hg, PaO2 70 +/- 1.1 mm Hg, percent predicted values for forced expiratory volume in 1 second 29.6% +/- 0.8%, TLCO% predicted 35.2 +/- 1.4%, and 6-minute walk test of 315 +/- 10.6 m (mean +/- SEM). Mean length of stay was 19 +/- 2 days, with 17 (19%) patients reintubated for respiratory failure. Mortality rate was 5.6% at 1 year post surgery, with no deaths in patients less than 65 years old. Multivariate analysis revealed that length of stay, reintubation and mortality were predicted by age and surgical time (p < 0.05), with no correlation with any other variables tested. Age greater than 70 years was associated with a significant risk of mortality (OR 9.0; p = 0.04).
Conclusions: Age greater than 70 years and anesthetic time greater than 210 minutes predict both perioperative morbidity and mortality.