Post-operative respiratory rehabilitation after lung resection for non-small cell lung cancer

Alfredo Cesario, Luigi Ferri, Domenico Galetta, Franco Pasqua, Stefano Bonassi, Enrico Clini, Gianluca Biscione, Vittorio Cardaci, Stefania di Toro, Alessia Zarzana, Stefano Margaritora, Alessio Piraino, Patrizia Russo, Silvia Sterzi, Pierluigi Granone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To investigate the efficacy of an inpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation program (i-PR) after lung resection (LR) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Patients and methods: From January 2001 to December 2004, 211 out of 618 patients who underwent LR were considered eligible for i-PR. Twenty-five patients accepted the i-PR and were included in the case group. The remaining 186 who refused i-PR were taken as controls. Results: The two study groups were comparable for demographic and surgical characteristics, as well as for the peri-operative morbidity (4% in the controls and 3% among patients undergoing i-PR). Most functional parameters among treated patients were improved when baseline versus 1-month figures were compared, despite the strong correction for multiple comparison limited statistical significance to Borg scale dyspnoea on exertion - median - (2 versus 0; p <0.01); pH (7.45 versus 7.42; p <0.05); timed walk-6MWD (297.8 m versus 393.4 m; p <0.01) and Hb saturation during 6 MWD (95.4% versus 93.9%; p <0.05). On the contrary, global function in the group of controls was homogeneously decreased (FEV1 and PEF p <0.01) after operation. The comparison of treated and untreated patients 1 month after the operation did not show any significant difference in terms of FEV1, FVC, PEF, distance, Hb saturation, and KCO that instead were homogeneously and significantly worse at baseline (before the surgical operation) in the case group. Conclusions: Respiratory Function and exercise capacity significantly improve following a post-operative 4-week i-PR in lung resected patients. i-PR could be regarded as a component of the management of patients who have undergone LR for cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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