Esophageal Cancer
Copyright ©2006 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 28, 2006; 12(16): 2505-2509
Published online Apr 28, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i16.2505
Pulmonary complications in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease following transthoracic esophagectomy
Wen-Jie Jiao, Tian-You Wang, Min Gong, Hao Pan, Yan-Bing Liu, Zhi-Hua Liu
Wen-Jie Jiao, Yan-Bing Liu, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing 100034, China
Tian-You Wang, Min Gong, Hao Pan, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Beijing 100050, China
Zhi-Hua Liu, National Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Cancer Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100021, China
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Correspondence to: Wen-Jie Jiao, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking University First Hospital, No. 8, Xishiku Road, Beijing 100034, China.
Telephone: +86-10-66551122-2417
Received: November 16, 2005
Revised: December 11, 2005
Accepted: December 22, 2005
Published online: April 28, 2006

AIM: To investigate the incidence of various types of postoperative pulmonary complications (POPCs) and to evaluate the significance of perioperative arterial blood gases in patients with esophageal cancer accompanied with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) after esophagectomy.

MEHTODS: Three hundred and fifty-eight patients were divided into POPC group and COPD group. We performed a retrospective review of the 358 consecutive patients after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer with or without COPD to assess the possible influence of COPD on postoperative pulmonary complications. We classified COPD into four grades according to percent-predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and analyzed the incidence rate of complications among the four grades. Perioperative arterial blood gases were tested in patients with or without pulmonary complications in COPD group and compared with POPC group.

RESULTS: Patients with COPD (29/86, 33.7%) had more pulmonary complications than those without COPD (36/272, 13.2%) (P < 0.001). Pneumonia (15/29, 51.7%), atelectasis (13/29, 44.8%), prolonged O2 supplement (10/29, 34.5%), and prolonged mechanical ventilation (8/29, 27.6%) were the major complications in COPD group. Moreover, patients with severe COPD (gradeIIB, FEV1 < 50% of predicted) had more POPCs than those with moderate(gradeIIA, 50%-80% of predicted) and mild (gradeI≥ 80% of predicted) COPD (P < 0.05). PaO2 was decreased and PaCO2 was increased in patients with pulmonary complications in COPD group in the first postoperative week.

CONCLUSION: The criteria of COPD are the critical predictor for pulmonary complications in esophageal cancer patients undergoing esophagectomy. Severity of COPD affects the incidence rate of the pulmonary complication, and percent-predicted FEV1 is a good predictive variable for pulmonary complication in patients with COPD. Arterial blood gases are helpful in directing perioperative management.

Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Arterial blood gas, Esophageal cancer, Complication