Morbidity and mortality in a large series of surgical patients with pulmonary metastases of colorectal carcinoma: a prospective multicentre Spanish study (GECMP-CCR-SEPAR)

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014 Apr;45(4):671-6. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezt459. Epub 2013 Oct 3.


Objective: Little information is available on postoperative morbidity and mortality after pulmonary metastasectomy. We describe the postoperative morbidity and mortality in a large multicentre series of patients after a first surgical procedure for pulmonary metastases of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and identify the pre- and intraoperative variables influencing the clinical outcome.

Methods: A prospective, observational and multicentre study was conducted. Data were collected from March 2008 to February 2010. Patients were grouped into Groups A and B according to the presence or absence of postoperative complications. Variables in both groups were compared by univariate and multivariate analyses. P-values of <0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 532 patients (64.5% males) from 32 hospitals were included. The mean (SD) ages of both study groups were similar [68 (10) vs 67 (10) years, P = NS). A total of 1050 lung resections were performed (90% segmentectomies or wedge, n = 946 and 10% lobectomies or greater, n = 104). Group A included 83 (15.6%) patients who developed a total of 100 complications. These included persistent air leaks in 18, atelectasis in 13, pneumonia in 13, paralytic ileum in 12, arrhythmia in 9, acute respiratory distress syndrome in 4 and miscellanea in 31. Reoperation was performed in 5 (0.9%) patients due to persistent air leaks in 4 and lung ischaemia in 1. The mortality rate was 0.4% (n = 2). Causes of death were sepsis in 1 patient and ventricular fibrillation in 1. In the multivariate analysis, lobectomy or greater lung resection [odds ration (OR) 1.9, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.04-3.3, P = 0.03], respiratory co-morbidity (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1-4.6, P = 0.01) and cardiovascular co-morbidity (OR 2, 95% CI 1-3.8, P = 0.02) were independent risk factors for postoperative morbidity. Video-assisted surgery vs thoracotomy showed a protective effect (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-0.8, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: The first episode of lung surgery for pulmonary metastases of CRC was associated with very low mortality and reoperation rates (<1%). The postoperative morbidity rate was 16%. Independent risk factors of postoperative morbidity were major lung resection and respiratory and/or cardiovascular co-morbidity. Video-assisted surgery showed a protective effect.

Keywords: Lung resection; Metastases; Morbidity; Mortality; Pulmonary complications; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Pneumonectomy / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology