The present article discusses the two most up-to-date clinical practice guidelines containing the recommendations of US and European scientific societies on preoperative assessment of the risk of lung resection. Despite some differences between the two documents, both guidelines agree on the importance of routine preoperative measurement of diffusion lung capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) in the predictive value of exercise tests, especially measurement of maximal oxygen uptake per minute (VO(2max)). Precisely because of its ability to predict the risk of operative death, VO(2max) should be measured in patients with a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or DLCO below 80% of the theoretical value. The authors recommend using one of the two above-mentioned guidelines in clinical practice and periodically auditing the results to compare them with in-hospital mortality for lung resection in Europe, currently available through the European Association of Thoracic Surgeons. There is currently no validated risk index that could be directly applied in clinical decision making in lung resection.
Copyright © 2011 Sociedad Española de Neumología y Cirugía Torácica. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.