Thoracoscopic reduction pneumoplasty for severe emphysema: do pleural adhesions affect outcome?

Research paper by T C TC Mineo, E E Pompeo, P P Rogliani, S S Villaschi, C C Pistolese, G G Simonetti

Indexed on: 22 Dec '99Published on: 22 Dec '99Published in: The Thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon


Pleural adhesions are frequently encountered in patients undergoing reduction pneumoplasty. We evaluated the impact that pleural adhesions had on the surgical technique and outcome of thoracoscopic reduction pneumoplasty.59 operated patients were divided into 2 groups depending on the presence (group A) or absence (group B) of pleural adhesions.At inter-group comparison (A versus B) a significant difference was found for mean duration of operation (128+/-55 min versus 73+/-33 min; p<0.005), morbidity (14 versus 9 patients; p<0.05), and hospital stay (14.1+/-11.8 days versus 12.0+/-7.4 days; p<0.001). Complications occurred less frequently in the last 29 patients than in the first 30 patients (11 versus 24; p<0.03). At histopathologic analysis subpleural (p<0.005) and interstitial fibrosis (p<0.001), and interstitial granulomas (p<0.012) were more frequent in group A specimens. At six months dyspnea index, six-minute-walk test, FEV1, FVC, PaO2, and prednisone and oxygen independence improved significantly in both groups. However FEV1 increased less in group A (1.20+/-0.2L vs 1.31+/-0.3L; p < 0.01).Pleural adhesions may be associated with increased morbidity and less improvement in FEV1 but they do not contraindicate thoracoscopic reduction pneumoplasty.