Pulmonary Metastatectomy and Survival Rate of Patients


1 Department of Thoracic Surgery

2 Lung Transplantation Research Center

3 Department of Thoracic Surgery,

4 Tracheal Disease Research Center, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University M.C., TEHRAN-IRAN.


Background: Although presence of pulmonary metastasis is indicative of disease progression and its untreatable nature, in recent decades, numerous efforts have been made for treatment of these patients by surgical resection of metastatic lesions. The efficacy of this procedure has been variable in various reports and different diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of metastatectomy in survival rate of patients with pulmonary metastases who underwent metastatectomy in Masih Daneshvari hospital. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study and we evaluated medical records of 99 patients suffering pulmonary metastasis who had been referred to our center during 1995-2007; out of which 48 patients who were qualified for metastatectomy underwent this operation. The required qualifications for surgery included: feasibility of resecting all metastatic lesions, tolerance of surgery by the patient, absence of metastatic lesions in organs other than the lungs, and control of primary disease. Information regarding the site of primary lesion and its pathology, time interval between the diagnosis of primary disease and metastasis, surgical morbidity and mortality, form of surgical procedure, type of incision, number of pulmonary metastases and survival rate of patients was collected. Patients were followed up via clinical visits. In case of insufficient clinical visits, we contacted the patient or his/her family and collected the rewired data. Obtained data were analyzed using SPSS software. To assess the patients' survival rate after the operation, Kaplan-Meier test was used. Results: Sixty-seven pulmonary metastatectomies were conducted on 48 patients (31 males and 17 females) in the age range of 16-86 years (mean 40 yrs). Twenty-five patients had unilateral and 23 had bilateral metastases. Among patients with bilateral metastases, 7 underwent single-phase metastatectomy while 16 underwent two or multi-phase metastatectomy. Surgical incisions were done through the following approaches: in 60 cases through postero-lateral thoracotomy, in 4 cases through mid-sternotomy and in 3 cases through bilateral anterior-transverse thoracotomy along with sternotomy (clamshell). In 61 cases pulmonary metastatic lesion was removed by wedge resection, in 14 cases by lobectomy and in one case by pneumonectomy. Mean number of resected lesions was 6.7 (range 1 to 59). Postoperative complications occurred in 10 patients (15%) including pneumothorax in 9 cases and chylothorax in one. No morbidity, mortality or life-threatening complications occurred in any of the patients. The mean survival of patients following metastatectomy was 22 months (range 1 to 128 months) and their 5-year survival was 24.5% Five patients had 5 years (60 months) or more survival. Conclusion: Although the under-study population was not homogenous pathologically, it seems that metastatectomy with acceptable morbidity, increases the survival of patients and in some cases results in their complete recovery. (Tanaffos 2008; 7(1): 47-51)