Factors associated with preserved pulmonary function in non-small-cell lung cancer patients after video-assisted thoracic surgery

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Apr;49(4):1084-90. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezv325. Epub 2015 Sep 15.


Objectives: Some non-small-cell lung cancer patients have preserved pulmonary function after surgery. Compared with open thoracotomy, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is widely performed and preserves pulmonary function. Patients with non-small-cell lung cancer have an extremely poor prognosis without surgery. Clinicians should therefore decide which patients can safely tolerate lung resection. This study aimed to identify factors associated with preserving pulmonary function after VATS in non-small-cell lung cancer patients.

Methods: Three hundred and fifty-one patients with non-small-cell lung cancer underwent VATS and preoperative and 12-month postoperative pulmonary function tests. Patients with and patients without preserved forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide were compared.

Results: The FEV1 was preserved after VATS in 142 (40.5%) patients. In multivariable analysis, this group was significantly associated with VATS sublobar resection (P < 0.001) and resection at the right upper lobe or right middle lobe (vs right lower lobe, P = 0.048; vs left upper lobe, P = 0.003; vs left lower lobe, P = 0.015). Diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide was preserved in 129 (36.8%) patients. Multivariable analysis showed that VATS sublobar resection (P < .001), lower baseline diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (P < 0.001) and right upper lobe or right middle lobe resection (vs right lower lobe, P = 0.0014; vs left upper lobe, P = 0.029, vs left lower lobe, P = 0.014) were significantly associated with preserved diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide.

Conclusions: For preserving pulmonary function after non-small-cell lung cancer surgery, VATS sublobar resection was superior to VATS lobectomy, and surgery on the right upper lobe or right middle lobe was superior to that at other sites.

Keywords: Lobectomy (lung); Lung cancer surgery; Lung segmentectomy/wedge resection; Pulmonary function; Thoracoscopy/video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung / surgery
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / adverse effects
  • Pneumonectomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity / physiology*
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / adverse effects
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / statistics & numerical data*