Air-leak management after upper lobectomy in patients with fused fissure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a pilot trial comparing sealant and standard treatment

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2009 Dec;9(6):973-7. doi: 10.1510/icvts.2009.202770. Epub 2009 Sep 23.


A pilot trial to compare the efficacy of two different procedures to prevent postoperative air-leak in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients submitted to upper lobectomy for non-small cell lung cancer. Sixty patients with COPD and lung cancer at the upper pulmonary lobes eligible for lobectomy were enrolled and randomly assigned either to standard treatment (ST) with stapling device or to electrocautery dissection and application of a collagen patch coated with human fibrinogen and thrombin (TachoSil) (experimental treatment [ET]) for the intra-operative completion of their fused fissures. Thirty patients were enrolled in each group during a three-year period. Preoperative characteristics were similar between the two groups. Statistically significant reduction of air-leak was registered in the ET group when overall incidence of postoperative air-leak (55% vs. 96%; P=0.03), postoperative air-leak (mean 1.63+/-1.96 vs. 4.33+/-4.12 days; P=0.0018), chest-drain (mean 3.53+/-1.59 vs. 5.90+/-3.72 days; P=0.0021) and hospital stay duration (mean 5.87+/-1.07 vs. 7.50+/-3.20 days; P=0.01) were considered. The use of TachoSil to prevent postoperative air-leak after interlobar fissure completion in patients with COPD submitted to upper lobectomy seems to be safe and more effective than the ST based on stapling device application.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / complications
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drainage
  • Drug Combinations
  • Electrocoagulation*
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pneumonectomy / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Surgical Stapling*
  • Thrombin / therapeutic use*
  • Tissue Adhesives / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Drug Combinations
  • TachoSil
  • Tissue Adhesives
  • Fibrinogen
  • Thrombin