Early complications in surgical treatment of lung cancer: a prospective, multicenter study. Grupo Cooperativo de Carcinoma Broncogénico de la Sociedad Española de Neumología y Cirugía Torácica

Ann Thorac Surg. 1997 Apr;63(4):944-50. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(97)00051-9.


Background: We prospectively analyzed the postoperative morbidity, mortality rate, and risk factors in 605 patients who underwent thoracotomy for bronchogenic carcinoma.

Methods: Patients were categorized by postsurgical tumor stage: I, 287 patients (47.4%); II, 49 patients (8.1%); IIIA, 154 patients (25.5%); IIIB, 80 patients (13.2%); IV, 16 patients (2.7%); unavailable, 19 patients (3.1%). Two hundred ninety-four patients (48.6%) underwent lobectomy, 172 (28.4%) pneumonectomy, 20 (3.3%) bilobectomy, 29 (4.8%) segmentectomy, 27 (4.5%) wedge resection, and 63 (10.4%) exploratory thoracotomy. The importance of the factors that influence the morbidity and mortality rates was calculated from their relative risks. Univariate and multivariate methods for a logistic regression model were used for this analysis.

Results: Postoperative complications developed in 196 patients (32.4%); there were 165 (27.3%) cases of operation-related complications and 152 (25.1%) cases of respiratory and cardiovascular complications. The morbidity rate was highest in patients with preexisting vascular disease (50.9%; odds ratio [OR], 2.20) or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (52.4%; OR, 2.77) and in patients who underwent pneumonectomy (40.1%; OR, 1.82). Forty patients (6.6%) died postoperatively, most commonly of respiratory failure (67.5%). The mortality rate was highest in patients with postoperative morbidity (OR, 31.9) or vascular disease (15.8%; OR, 2.83) and in patients who underwent pneumonectomy (13.4%; OR, 4.9).

Conclusions: Postoperative complications are more likely to develop in patients with peripheral vascular disease or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, or both. Postoperative mortality was found to be significantly higher in patients with vascular disease and those who underwent pneumonectomy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / surgery*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • Odds Ratio
  • Postoperative Complications* / classification
  • Postoperative Complications* / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies