Is surgery for non-small cell lung cancer justified in patients over 70 years of age?

Paola Ciriaco, A. Puglisi, A. Carretta, B. Canneto, P. Zannini, A. Grossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefit of surgery in patients >70 years of age with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in terms of postoperative complications, rehabilitation, and survival. Methods: Between January 1992 and January 1996, 75 patients, 64 men and 11 women, mean age 74.6 years (range 70-83), underwent surgical resection for primary NSCLC. At the time of admission 24 patients presented associated cardiovascular and/or respiratory problems (32%). Preoperative assessment included also echocardiography and/or miocardial scan in patients with concomitant cardiological problems. The six-minute walking test (6-MWT) was used in 21 patients at nigh risk for pulmonary resection. All patients had pulmonary rehabilitation. Pulmonary embolism was prevented with heparin and the use of a leg sequential pneumatic compression device. Postthoracotomy pain was managed using continuous epidural analgesia or patient controlled analgesia. Results: Preoperative FEV1%, FVC% and PaO2 were respectively 80% (range 48-97), 84% (range 58-100) and 87 mmHg (range 68-97) and influenced postoperative complications and survival (p70 years of age with NSCLC, should be given the opportunity of surgery provided that no major postoperative cardiorespiratory complication are foreseen. Clinical Implications: Careful preoperative evaluation, pulmonary rehabilitation and management of postoperative pain can reduce postoperative risk of cardiorespiratory failure.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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