Objective: Reconstruction of the pulmonary artery in association with lung resection is technically feasible with low morbidity and mortality. To assess long-term outcome, we report our 20-year experience.
Methods: Between 1989 and 2008, we performed pulmonary artery reconstruction in 105 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (tangential resections not included). Twenty-seven patients received induction therapy. We performed 47 pulmonary artery sleeve resections, 55 reconstructions by pericardial patch (with 3 left pneumonectomies under cardiopulmonary bypass), and 3 by pericardial conduit. In 65 patients, a bronchial sleeve resection was associated; in 6 cases superior vena caval reconstruction was also required. Fifteen patients had stage IB disease, 37 stage II, 31 IIIA, and 22 IIIB. Sixty-one patients had epidermoid carcinoma, and 38 adenocarcinoma. Mean follow-up was 46 +/- 40 months.
Results: The procedure-related complications were 1 pulmonary artery thrombosis requiring completion pneumonectomy and 1 massive hemoptysis leading to death (operative mortality, 0.95%); 28 patients had other complications, with the most frequent prolonged air leakage. Overall 5-year survival was 44%. Five- and 10-year survivals for stages I and II versus stage III were, respectively, 60% versus 28% and 25% versus 12%. Five-year survivals were 52.6% for N0 and N1 nodal involvement versus 20% for N2; 10-year survivals were 28% versus 3%. Multivariate analysis yielded induction therapy, N2 status, adenocarcinoma, and isolated pulmonary artery reconstruction as negative prognostic factors.
Conclusions: Pulmonary artery reconstruction is safe, with excellent long-term survival. Our results support this technique as an effective option for patients with lung cancer.