The initial phase for validating the European algorithm for functional assessment prior to lung resection: quantifying compliance with the recommendations in actual clinical practice

Arch Bronconeumol. 2012 Jul;48(7):229-33. doi: 10.1016/j.arbres.2012.02.016. Epub 2012 Apr 16.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Objective: To quantify the degree of compliance with the recommendations of the clinical practice guidelines published in 2009 by the ERS and the ESTS regarding the preoperative assessment of risk of lung resection in daily clinical practice at a tertiary hospital.

Method: A prospective, observational study of real-time data collected from consecutive patients who had been referred for evaluation from September 2009 to December 2010. We recorded the presence or absence of the recommended studies included in the algorithm, their results and, when a test was missing, the reasons why it was not performed. Hospital mortality and cardio-respiratory morbidity rates are also presented.

Results: 173 patients were evaluated. In 171 cases, lung resection was performed, with a mortality of 1.2% and a cardio-respiratory morbidity of 11.7%. The failure rate of the first level of the algorithm was 4.6% and for the second level (VO(2max) test) it was 26%. The absence of exercise tests was mainly due to hospital structural problems and the patients' inability to perform it. Out of the patients who performed the exercise testing, 31 reached a VO(2max) of 20 ml/kg-min or more and underwent surgery without calculation of FEV(1)ppo and DCLOppo; 35 patients required the calculation to determine their operability and in 2 cases the intervention was not recommended due to functional inoperability of the patient.

Conclusions: The validation process found lack of compliance with the proposed algorithm in 18.5% of the cases basically due to the absence of the exercise tests. The rate of adherence to the algorithm recommendations should be improved before performing any other validation studies.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Decision Making
  • Europe
  • Exercise Test / statistics & numerical data
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Hospitals, University / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Karnofsky Performance Status
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Patient Selection*
  • Pneumonectomy / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Function Tests* / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Assessment
  • Spain