Bilobectomy is considered to be a risky procedure due to space mismatch between the pleural space and the remnant lung. The objective of this study was to evaluate if postoperative complications related or not to size mismatch are more frequent after bilobectomy compared with right lobectomy cases.METHODS:
Retrospective case-control study on a series of matched non-small-cell lung cancer patients. Cases were patients who underwent right bilobectomy (upper and middle or lower and middle) and controls, patients who underwent right upper or lower lobectomy. Cases and controls were matched by propensity scoring according to site, age, ppoFEV1, type of postoperative management (intensive physiotherapy or not), cardiac comorbidity and pT status. We selected two primary outcomes for comparison: occurrence of any cardiorespiratory complication and occurrence of any complication related to space discrepancies. For the latter, all complicated case records were reviewed and two blinded observers agreed on the probability of each complication to be related to space discrepancies. Agreement was measured by the κ statistic. The overall odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for each outcome were calculated on 2 × 2 tables for the whole population and for cases with upper or lower resections.RESULTS:
The study included 689 patients: 572 right lobectomy (419 upper and 153 lower) and 117 bilobectomy cases (30 upper and middle and 87 lower and middle). The overall mortality rate of the series was 2.03% (14/689), and cardiorespiratory complications were recorded in 14.4% (99/689) and space-related complications in 19.59% (135/689) cases. Both observers agreed on space-related complications in 86% of the 135 cases (κ: 0.72). After matching, 234 cases entered the study (117 with right lobectomy, including 83 lower and 34 upper, and 117 with bilobectomy, including 87 lower and 30 upper). The prevalence of cardiorespiratory complications was higher after lower and middle lobectomy compared with lower lobectomy (P = 0.0002; OR: 7.96, 95% CI: 2.19-43.16). No differences were found in death rates or in space-related complications between groups of lobectomy and bilobectomy cases.CONCLUSIONS:
This study failed to demonstrate a higher space-related complication rate in bilobectomy cases but cardiorespiratory complications were statistically higher after lower and middle lobectomy compared with lower lobectomy in matched cases.