Experience with fatal interstitial pneumonia after operation for lung cancer

T. Tanita, M. Chida, Y. Hoshikawa, M. Handa, M. Sato, M. Sagawa, S. Ono, Y. Matsumura, T. Kondo, S. Fujimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The number of patients with lung cancer is increasing. This study was undertaken to realize the probability, fate and management of acute fatal postoperative complications. Since interstitial pneumonia was one of the most fatal postoperative complications, to know its incidence and fate is very important. Methods. A total of 2667 patients who underwent thoracotomy caused by malignant tumors during the past 17 years were reviewed and studied. We performed investigations on medical records, chest X-rays, whole-body CT films, operative records and pathological specimens for all inpatients. Results. Nineteen patients died in hospital 30 days after thoracotomy (operative death). Nine patients died in hospital more than 31 days after thoracotomy (hospital death). Eight cases out of 28 patients (operative and hospital deaths) developed and finally died by interstitial pneumonia. Each case was treated with steroids, neutrophil-elastase inhibitor, and/or immunosuppressive agents. These patients could not be selected by any pre-operative laboratory examination, such as preoperative pulmonary function tests, serum biochemistry tests, and chest X-ray or CT films. Interstitial pneumonia as a complication of postoperative stage, was fatal and once developed, it was very difficult to save their lives. Conclusions. Since we reported the cases who died from acute postoperative complications, especially interstitial pneumonia, we could not present effective management. However, in this report, several therapeutic trials that may solve the problems of acute postoperative interestitial pneumonia were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26-04-2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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