Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for primary spontaneous pneumothorax: Clinicopathological correlation

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Abstract

Objective: To compare the identifiable pulmonary abnormalities during thoracoscopy with the histological findings in patients requiring surgical intervention for recurrent or persistent primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) and correlate these with the postoperative events. Methods: From January 1999 to December 2002, 94 consecutive patients underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic wedge excision and apical pleurectomy for PSP. Vanderschueren's classification was used for macroscopic staging and histological observation for microscopic features. Clinical data of these patients and the outcome of surgery were described. Results: All patients were successfully treated using video-assisted thoracoscopic technique. Recurrent pneumothorax was the most frequent indication for surgery, occurring in 60 cases. The method of management was stapling of an identified bleb or apex of the upper lobe and apical pleurectomy. In 67 cases (71%), clear bullae were found in types III and IV. In 15 cases (16%), type II pleuropulmonary adhesions were identified and in 12 (13%) cases thoracoscopy failed to reveal any abnormality (type I). The actual site of air leakage could be located during thoracoscopy in 24 (26%) patients. Histologically, 74 patients had subpleural bullae/blebs formation and 20 had emphysema without bullae. Fifty-three patients had cellular infiltration and 82 had pleural fibrosis. In the microscopic examination, the actual site of air leakage could be located at the site of subpleural blebs or bullae in 15 patients and elsewhere at the lung surface in five other patients. Postoperative prolonged air leak occurred in 4 out of 12 patients in type I and in two of the remaining patients, p = 0.001. Mean follow-up is 48 months (range, 30-60 months) for all patients. Pneumothorax recurred in three patients (3.1%). Two patients from type I (16.6%) and one patient from the other types (1.2%) had recurrence (p = 0.01). Conclusions: Video-assisted thoracoscopic stapling of an identified bleb or apex of the upper lobe and apical pleurectomy represents the standard treatment for the majority of recurrent or persistent PSP. Most patients with surgically treated PSP have subpleural blebs or bullae or isolated emphysema. In type I cases, simple apical excision and apical pleurectomy are not sufficient and perhaps additional talc poudrage might be indicated. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Ayed, A. K., Chandrasekaran, C., & Sukumar, M. (2006). Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for primary spontaneous pneumothorax: Clinicopathological correlation. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 29(2), 221–225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcts.2005.11.005

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