Background: The use of an autologous pulmonary vein (PV) conduit for reconstruction of the pulmonary artery (PA) in lung-sparing resections was first described in 2009, but to date only two case reports appeared and no medium-term and long-term results have been reported, to our knowledge. We present the first case series with medium-term follow-up.
Methods: Between December 2009 and December 2012, 9 patients undergoing PA sleeve resection for centrally located lung cancer received reconstruction by this technique. Three of these patients underwent induction chemotherapy. The venous graft was obtained from the proximal extraparenchymal portion of the superior PV and was sutured to the proximal and distal PA stumps with the standard anastomotic technique.
Results: All 9 patients underwent left upper lobectomy with sleeve resection of the PA without associated bronchoplasty. The postoperative morbidity rate was 33% (1 chylothorax, 1 atrial fibrillation, and 1 parenchymal atelectasis). No adverse events related to the reconstructive procedure occurred. There was no postoperative mortality. Complete patency of the reconstructed PA was shown in all patients by postoperative contrast computed tomography every 6 months. All patients are alive at a mean follow-up time of 32 ± 12.4 months (range, 6 to 42 months). Tumor recurrence has been observed in 2 patients (1 local, 1 systemic). The median survival time is 38 months. The median disease-free survival time is 33 months.
Conclusions: Reconstruction of the PA by a PV graft is a feasible and effective option for parenchymal-sparing resections. The PV conduit shows tissue characteristics similar to those of the arterial wall. This technique is safe and is supported by good medium-term results.
Copyright © 2014 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.