Resection for tumors with carinal involvement: technical aspects, results, and prognostic factors

Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Nov;80(5):1841-6. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2005.04.032.


Background: Resection of tumors with carinal involvement remains a challenge because of specific problems of operative technique and airway management. We reviewed our experience with carinal resection and studied factors influencing postoperative course and long-term survival.

Methods: Between 1983 and 2002, 65 patients underwent a carinal resection for non-small-cell lung cancers involving the carina (54 squamous cell carcinomas and 11 adenocarcinomas).

Results: Fifty-eight right sleeve pneumonectomies and 2 left sleeve pneumonectomies were performed. In addition, five tracheocarinal resections with double bronchial reimplantation (no lung resection) were also performed. The intraoperative airway management consisted of high-frequency jet ventilation in 83% of patients and intermittent conventional ventilation through the operative field in the remaining 17% of patients. Operative mortality was 7.7%. Resection was complete in 61 patients. The overall 5-year and 10-year survival rates were 26.5% and 10.6%, respectively. Patients with N0 or N1 disease had a 5-year survival of 38% compared with 5.3% for those with N2 disease (p < 0.01). At multivariate analysis only nodal status (N0, N1 versus N2; p = 0.0046) had a significant impact on long-term survival.

Conclusions: Carinal resection provides acceptable results in terms of operative mortality and long-term survival rates. Patients should be carefully selected and probably enrolled in a multimodality treatment program in case of anticipated mediastinal lymph node involvement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / methods
  • Pneumonectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis