A risk score to predict the incidence of prolonged air leak after video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy: An analysis from the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons database

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Abstract

Objective:

The study objective was to develop an aggregate risk score for predicting the occurrence of prolonged air leak after video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy from patients registered in the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons database.

Methods:

A total of 5069 patients who underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy (July 2007 to August 2015) were analyzed. Exclusion criteria included sublobar resections or pneumonectomies, lung resection associated with chest wall or diaphragm resections, sleeve resections, and need for postoperative assisted mechanical ventilation. Prolonged air leak was defined as an air leak more than 5 days. Several baseline and surgical variables were tested for a possible association with prolonged air leak using univariable and logistic regression analyses, determined by bootstrap resampling. Predictors were proportionally weighed according to their regression estimates (assigning 1 point to the smallest coefficient).

Results:

Prolonged air leak was observed in 504 patients (9.9%). Three variables were found associated with prolonged air leak after logistic regression: male gender (P < .0001, score = 1), forced expiratory volume in 1 second less than 80% (P < .0001, score = 1), and body mass index less than 18.5 kg/m2 (P < .0001, score = 2). The aggregate prolonged air leak risk score was calculated for each patient by summing the individual scores assigned to each variable (range, 0–4). Patients were then grouped into 4 classes with an incremental risk of prolonged air leak (P < .0001): class A (score 0 points, 1493 patients) 6.3% with prolonged air leak, class B (score 1 point, 2240 patients) 10% with prolonged air leak, class C (score 2 points, 1219 patients) 13% with prolonged air leak, and class D (score >2 points, 117 patients) 25% with prolonged air leak.

Conclusions:

An aggregate risk score was created to stratify the incidence of prolonged air leak after video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy. The score can be used for patient counseling and to identify those patients who can benefit from additional intraoperative preventative measures.

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