Safety of Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer Resection After COVID-19 Pneumonia

Lung cancer, CT
Lung cancer, CT
Researchers assessed morbidity and mortality outcomes following surgical resection for nonsmall cell lung cancer among patients with and without prior COVID-19 pneumonia.

There were no significant differences between postoperative morbidity and mortality among patients with vs without a history of COVID-19 pneumonia who underwent surgical resection for nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to results of a study published in Asian Journal of Surgery.

Researchers respectively analyzed data from 30 patients diagnosed with NSCLC who underwent lobectomy with thoracotomy and systematic mediastinal lymph node dissection. Patients were divided into 2 groups on the basis of COVID-19 pneumonia history, and postoperative outcomes were assessed.

Among patients included in the analysis, 14 previously had COVID-19 pneumonia and 16 had no history of the disease. The mean patient age was 62.1 years, 9 were women, and 21 were men. In addition, 11 patients were diagnosed with essential hypertension, 10 with diabetes mellitus, 5 with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 2 with asthma, 2 with heart valve disease, 1 with atrial fibrillation, and 1 with chronic kidney failure.

Lung resection procedures comprised left upper lobectomy in 8 patients, left lower lobectomy in 8, right middle lobectomy in 5, right lower lobectomy in 5, and right upper lobectomy in 4. There were no significant differences between patients with vs without a history of COVID-19 pneumonia in regard to postoperative air leak duration, total drainage volume (725 vs 893.7 mL), the mean time to drain removal (6.36 vs 4.69 days), postoperative complications (both n=4), and the mean length of hospitalization (7.64 vs 6.56 days).

This study was limited by its small sample size, and only early postoperative outcomes were assessed.

According to the researchers, “…clinical, radiologic, [and] laboratory evaluation methods are needed to determine the [optimal] time” to perform surgical resection for NSCLC in patients with a history of COVID-19 pneumonia.”


Hekimoglu B, Beyoglu MA. Early outcomes of lung resections in non-small cell lung cancer after COVID-19 pneumonia. Asian J Surg. Published online May 2, 2022. doi: 10.1016/j.asjsur.2022.04.080