Prognostic factors for chronic post-surgical pain after lung and pleural surgery: a systematic review with meta-analysis, meta-regression and trial sequential analysis

P. R.D. Clephas, S. E. Hoeks, P. M. Singh, C. S. Guay, M. Trivella, M. Klimek, M. Heesen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic post-surgical pain is known to be a common complication of thoracic surgery and has been associated with a lower quality of life, increased healthcare utilisation, substantial direct and indirect costs, and increased long-term use of opioids. This systematic review with meta-analysis aimed to identify and summarise the evidence of all prognostic factors for chronic post-surgical pain after lung and pleural surgery. Electronic databases were searched for retrospective and prospective observational studies as well as randomised controlled trials that included patients undergoing lung or pleural surgery and reported on prognostic factors for chronic post-surgical pain. We included 56 studies resulting in 45 identified prognostic factors, of which 16 were pooled with a meta-analysis. Prognostic factors that increased chronic post-surgical pain risk were as follows: higher postoperative pain intensity (day 1, 0–10 score), mean difference (95%CI) 1.29 (0.62–1.95), p < 0.001; pre-operative pain, odds ratio (95%CI) 2.86 (1.94–4.21), p < 0.001; and longer surgery duration (in minutes), mean difference (95%CI) 12.07 (4.99–19.16), p < 0.001. Prognostic factors that decreased chronic post-surgical pain risk were as follows: intercostal nerve block, odds ratio (95%CI) 0.76 (0.61–0.95) p = 0.018 and video-assisted thoracic surgery, 0.54 (0.43–0.66) p < 0.001. Trial sequential analysis was used to adjust for type 1 and type 2 errors of statistical analysis and confirmed adequate power for these prognostic factors. In contrast to other studies, we found that age had no significant effect on chronic post-surgical pain and there was not enough evidence to conclude on sex. Meta-regression did not reveal significant effects of any of the study covariates on the prognostic factors with a significant effect on chronic post-surgical pain. Expressed as grading of recommendations, assessment, development and evaluations criteria, the certainty of evidence was high for pre-operative pain and video-assisted thoracic surgery, moderate for intercostal nerve block and surgery duration and low for postoperative pain intensity. We thus identified actionable factors which can be addressed to attempt to reduce the risk of chronic post-surgical pain after lung surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1019
Number of pages15
JournalAnaesthesia
Volume78
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • chronic pain
  • meta-analysis
  • prognosis
  • pulmonary surgical procedures
  • thoracic surgery

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