Objective: Video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy remains controversial. We compared outcomes from participants in a randomized study comparing lymph node sampling versus dissection for early-stage lung cancer who underwent either video-assisted thoracoscopic or open lobectomy.
Methods: Data from 964 participants in the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z0030 trial were used to construct propensity scores for video-assisted thoracoscopic versus open lobectomy (based on age, gender, histology, performance status, tumor location, and T1 vs T2). Propensity scores were used to estimate the adjusted risks of short-term outcomes of surgery. Patients were classified into 5 equal-sized groups and compared using conditional logistic regression or repeated measures analysis of variance.
Results: A total of 752 patients (66 video-assisted and 686 open procedures) were analyzed on the basis of propensity score stratification. Median operative time was shorter for video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy (video-assisted thoracoscopy 117.5 minutes vs open 171.5 minutes; P < .001). Median total number of lymph nodes retrieved (dissection group only) was similar (video-assisted thoracoscopy 15 nodes vs open 19 nodes; P = .147), as were instances of R1/R2 resection (video-assisted thoracoscopy 0% vs open 2.3%; P = .368). Patients undergoing video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy had less atelectasis requiring bronchoscopy (0% vs 6.3%, P = .035), fewer chest tubes draining greater than 7 days (1.5% vs 10.8%; P = .029), and shorter median length of stay (5 days vs 7 days; P < .001). Operative mortality was similar (video-assisted thoracoscopy 0% vs open 1.6%, P = 1.0).
Conclusion: Patients undergoing video-assisted lobectomy had fewer respiratory complications and shorter length of stay. These data suggest video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy is safe in patients with resectable lung cancer. Longer follow-up is needed to determine the oncologic equivalency of video-assisted versus open lobectomy.
Copyright 2010 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.