Postpneumonectomy bronchopleural fistula: analysis of risk factors and the role of bronchial stump coverage
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Bronchopleural fistula (BPF) is a potentially fatal complication of pneumonectomy. We analyze its occurrence rate, risk factors, and the methods used for its prevention.
We reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent pneumonectomy at our Institution between January, 1990 and March, 2016. The risk factors for postoperative BPF were analyzed by univariate analysis and multiple logistic regression.
Over the study period, 511 patients underwent pneumonectomy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and had the bronchus closed by manual suturing. BPF developed in 23 patients (4.5%). Multiple logistic regression identified no coverage of the bronchial stump, right-sided pneumonectomy, residual tumor in the bronchial stump, postoperative ventilatory support, and completion pneumonectomy, as independent risk factors for BPF. The cumulative rate of BPF decreased significantly over time from 18% between 1990 and 1995 to 1% between 2011 and 2016 (p < 0.001). Concurrently, the data of several patients showed a significant positive trend over time, including bronchial stump coverage (BSC).
Several known risk factors for BPF were confirmed. The more frequent usage of tissue flaps for coverage of the bronchial stump may have contributed to the reduction in the rate of postoperative BPF over time.
KeywordsBronchopleural fistula Pneumonectomy Complications Flap coverage Risk factors
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
We have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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