Comparison of digital and traditional thoracic drainage systems for postoperative chest tube management after pulmonary resection: A prospective randomized trial

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Abstract

Objective:

The objective of this study was to evaluate whether a digital thoracic drainage system (group D) is clinically useful compared with a traditional thoracic drainage system (group T) in chest tube management following anatomic lung resection.

Methods:

Patients scheduled to undergo segmentectomy or lobectomy were prospectively randomized before surgery to group D or T. A stratification randomization was performed according to the following air leak risk factors: age, sex, smoking status, and presence of emphysema and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The primary end point was the duration of chest tube placement.

Results:

No statistically significant differences were found between groups D (n = 135) and T (n = 164) with regard to the duration of chest tube placement (median, 2.0 vs 3.0 days; P = .149), duration of hospitalization (median, 6.0 vs 7.0 days; P = .548), or frequency of postoperative adverse events (25.1% vs 20.7%; P = .361). In subgroup analyses of the 64 patients with postoperative air leak (20 in group D and 44 in group T), the duration of chest tube placement (median, 4.5 vs 4.0 days; P = .225) and duration of postoperative air leak (median, 3.0 vs 3.0 days; P = .226) were not significantly different between subgroups.

Conclusions:

The use of a digital thoracic drainage system did not shorten the duration of chest tube placement in comparison to a traditional thoracic drainage system after anatomic lung resection.

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