Objectives: The residual thoracic spaces (RTS) after pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) remain unexplored to date. Hence, this study aims to examine the details and risk factors of RTS during the 3 post-P/D months.
Methods: We retrospectively examined patients who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy, followed by P/D for malignant pleural mesothelioma from September 2012 to December 2020. The RTS group included cases of residual thoracic cavity unaccompanied by pleural effusion on 3 postoperative months computed tomography. We determined risk factors for RTS using univariable and multivariable analyses.
Results: Of 170 patients examined, 58 (34.1%) were in the RTS group and 112 (65.9%) in the non-RTS group. In the RTS group, 43 patients recovered from RTS during the follow-up period; 4 patients developed chronic fistular empyema, while 2 required fenestration and 2 were thoracoscopic debridement. Besides, 11 patients exhibited RTS continuously. The univariable analysis revealed that compared with the non-RTS group, the RTS group reported a significantly longer postoperative air leak (>7 days; P < 0.01) and right P/D (P = 0.04). The multivariable analysis demonstrated that longer postoperative air leak (>7 days) remained a risk factor for RTS (odds ratio 2.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-4.9, P < 0.01).
Conclusions: RTS was a postoperative event that frequently observed in patients undergoing P/D. Overall, the current study findings suggest longer postoperative air leak (>7 days) as a significant risk factor for RTS.
Keywords: Decortication; Mesothelioma; Pleurectomy; Residual thoracic space.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.