Thoracoscopic lung volume reduction surgery for pulmonary emphysema patients with severe hypercapnia

Kazuhiro Mitsui, Yoshimochi Kurokawa, Yoshihiro Kaiwa, Kenjiro Ando, Hajime Kurosawa, Wataru Hida, Sasumu Satomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: We assessed whether hypercapnia patients with an extremely high level of PaCO2 > or = 60 mmHg were suitable candidates for lung volume reduction in the treatment of severe pulmonary emphysema. METHODS: Of 65 patients undergoing lung volume reduction surgery between May 1993 and August 1997, 6 (9.23%) who had a preoperative rest room air blood gas level of PaCO2 > or = 60 mmHg were selected for study. All patients underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. Of the 6 with severe hypercapnia, 5 underwent the unilateral procedure and 1 the bilateral procedure. RESULTS: All severe hypercapnia patients showed significant clinical improvement. When assessed at 3 to 6 months after lung volume reduction surgery, significant improvements were seen in mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second (preop: 0.44 +/- 0.04 L; postop: 0.74 +/- 0.20 L; p < 0.01), for a magnitude improvement of 69.8%, and in trapped gas volume (preop: 3.28 +/- 1.11 L; postop: 1.61 +/- 1.02 L; p < 0.05). Arterial blood gas analysis showed significant improvement in PaO2 from 51.1 +/- 6.68 mmHg to 69.8 +/- 7.87 mmHg (p < 0.001) with a decrease in PaCO2 from 70.4 +/- 9.41 mmHg to 46.9 +/- 3.44 mmHg (p < 0.01). Postoperative follow-up averaged 55 months (43-69 months). All but 1 patient remain alive and well. CONCLUSION: Patients with severe pulmonary emphysema accompanied by hypercapnia can gain relief and a better quality of life through volume reduction surgery and should not be excluded from surgical treatment simply based on this condition. Selection should involve a comprehensive view of the patient's condition that includes criteria such as the results of radiographic diagnosis and detailed pulmonary function tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Aug


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