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Minerva Chirurgica 2007 December;62(6):431-5


language: English

Preoperative anaemia does not affect the early postoperative outcome in patients with lung cancer

Anile M., Venuta F., Diso D., Vitolo D., Longo F., De Giacomo T., Francioni F., Liparulo V., Ricella C., Ruberto F., Coloni G. F.

Department of Thoracic Surgery University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy


Aim. Several prognostic factors like age, gender, histology, stage, type of operation, associated disorders and administration of induction therapy have been evaluated to assess the risk of postoperative complications and outcome in patients with resectable lung cancer. Anemia is a frequent condition in this subset of patients being estimated up to 50%. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effect of preoperative anemia on early outcome after lung cancer resection.
Methods. One-hundred thirty nine consecutive patients undergoing surgery for non small cell lung cancer were retrospectively considered. The mean age was 64.8±11.6 years. No patient received blood transfusions or administration of erythropoetin preoperatively. Overall, we performed 96 lobectomies, 14 pneumonectomies, 2 bilobectomies and 27 atypical resections. A subset of 27 patients (19.4%) (group I) had a preoperative value of Hb less than 12 g/dl (10.4±1.9 g/dL). Seven patients of them were stage IA (26%), 9 stage IB (33.3%), 2 stage IIA (7.4%), 6 stage IIB (22.2%), 2 stage IIIA (7.4%) and 1 stage IIIB (3.7%). Age, gender, stage, type of operation, induction chemotherapy, comorbidities were evaluated by univariate analysis comparing patients with and without preoperative anaemia. The two groups were homogenous regarding demographic characteristics.
Results. Three patients (11.1%) in group I and 2 (1.8%) in group II required blood transfusions after surgery (P=0.01); 4 of them received pneumonectomy (P<0.0001). The overall morbidity was 17.9% (25/139); the most frequent complication was persistent air leakage, followed by retention of secretions. No statistically significant difference was observed between the 2 groups about early mortality (1 patient-3.7% in group I and 2 patients-1.8% in group II) and postoperative complications (5 patients-18.5% in group I and 20 patients-17.9% in group II).
Conclusion: Preoperative anaemia is not a risk factor for an increased rate of postoperative complications and should not be considered a contraindication to surgery.

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