Abscess of residual lobe after pulmonary resection for lung cancer

Tommaso Ligabue, Luca Voltolini, Claudia Ghiribelli, Luca Luzzi, Cristian Rapicetta, Giuseppe Gotti

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Abscess of the residual lobe after lobectomy is a rare but potentially lethal complication. Between January 1975 and December 2006, 1,460 patients underwent elective pulmonary lobectomy for non-small-cell lung cancer at our institution. Abscess of the residual lung parenchyma occurred in 5 (0.3%) cases (4 bilobectomies and 1 lobectomy). Postoperative chest radiography showed incomplete expansion and consolidation of residual lung parenchyma. Flexible bronchoscopy revealed persistent bronchial occlusion from purulent secretions and/or bronchial collapse. Computed tomography in 3 patients demonstrated lung abscess foci. Surgical treatment included completion right pneumonectomy in 3 patients and a middle lobectomy in one. Complications after repeat thoracotomy comprised contralateral pneumonia and sepsis in 1 patient. Residual lobar abscess after lobectomy should be suspected in patients presenting with fever, leukocytosis, bronchial obstruction and lung consolidation despite antibiotic therapy, physiotherapy and bronchoscopy. Computed tomography is mandatory for early diagnosis. Surgical resection of the affected lobe is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-114
Number of pages3
JournalAsian Cardiovascular and Thoracic Annals
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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