Surgical lung resection for severe hemoptysis

Ann Thorac Surg. 2009 Nov;88(5):1556-65. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.06.011.


Background: The role of surgical lung resection in the management of severe hemoptysis has evolved after advances in interventional radiology. We sought to describe the indications for surgical lung resection in such patients and to identify predictive factors of postoperative complications.

Methods: This study is a retrospective analysis (May 1995 to July 2006) of consecutive patients referred to the intensive care unit of a tertiary hospital for severe hemoptysis who underwent surgical lung resection.

Results: Among 813 patients referred for severe hemoptysis, 111 underwent surgical lung resection. Interventional radiology had been first attempted in 87 patients (78%); 68 underwent surgery because of a failed procedure (n = 28) or bleeding persistence or recurrence within 72 hours despite a completed procedure (n = 40); 19 patients underwent surgery after bleeding control. The remaining 24 patients (22%) were directly referred to the surgeon (5 for emergency surgery). Overall, surgery was performed in emergency (n = 48), scheduled after bleeding control (n = 48), or planned after discharge (n = 15). The main indications for surgery were mycetoma, cancer, bronchiectasis, and active tuberculosis. Surgery for mycetoma (odds ratio, 9.4; 95% confidence interval, 2.8 to 32), emergency surgery (odds ratio, 5.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.8 to 16), and pneumonectomy (odds ratio, 4.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 18) independently predicted complications. Fifteen patients died in the intensive care unit, of whom 14 underwent emergency surgery. Chronic alcoholism (odds ratio, 4.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 19), the need for mechanical ventilation or vasoactive drugs on admission (odds ratio, 8.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.9 to 35), and blood transfusion before surgery (odds ratio, 8; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 42) predicted mortality.

Conclusions: Attempting at controlling bleeding with first-line nonsurgical approaches appears necessary to optimize the operative conditions and improve outcome of patients with severe hemoptysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hemoptysis / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult