Safety of lymphadenectomy during video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy: Analysis from a national database

Italian VATSGroup

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OBJECTIVES The Italian VATS Group database was accessed to evaluate whether preoperative and intraoperative factors may affect the safety of lymphadenectomy (LA) during video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy. METHODS All video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy procedures performed between 1 January 2014 and 30 March 2017 for non-small-cell lung cancer with cN0 or cN1 disease were identified in the database. LA safety was evaluated based on intraoperative (operative time, bleeding and conversion rate) and postoperative (30-day morbidity and mortality, chest drain duration and length of stay) outcomes and was correlated with the number of resected lymph nodes and the rates of nodal upstaging. Continuous variables were presented as mean ± standard deviation and compared using the unpaired t-test; the X 2 test was used for categorical variables. Univariable analysis was performed on selected variables. Significant variables (P < 0.30) were entered into a Cox multivariable logistic regression model, using the overall and specific occurrence of complications as dependent variables. The Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was applied as needed. RESULTS A total of 3181 cases (2077 men, 65.3%; mean age of 69 years) met the enrolment criteria. Final pathology was consistent with adenocarcinoma (n = 2262, 67.5%), squamous cell (n = 520, 15.5%), typical (n = 184, 5.5%) and atypical carcinoid (n = 48, 1.4%) and other (n = 335, 10%). The mean number of resected lymph nodes was 13.42 ± 8.24; nodal upstaging occurred in 308 of 3181 (9.68%) cases. Six hundred and fifty-five complications were recorded in 404 (12.7%) patients; in this series, no mortality was observed. Univariable and multivariable analyses did not show any association between the extension of LA and intraoperative or postoperative outcomes. The number of resected lymph nodes and nodal upstagings showed a minimal correlation with intraoperative outcomes and a moderate correlation with postoperative air leak (p = 0.35 and p = 0.48, respectively), arrhythmia (p = 0.29 and p = 0.35, respectively), chest drain duration (p = 0.35 and p = 0.51, respectively) and length of stay (p = 0.35). CONCLUSIONS Based on the VATS Group data, video-assisted thoracic surgery LA proved to be safe and displayed good outcomes even when performed with an extended approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-670
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Lobectomy
  • Lung cancer
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery


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