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Age, Other Factors Up Risk of Respiratory Infections after


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Lung Cancer Surgery

Age, Other Factors Up Risk of Respiratory Infections after Lung Cancer Surgery

NEW YORK FEB 27, 2007 (Reuters Health) - Advanced age and other factors predispose patients to respiratory infections after lung cancer surgery, according to a report in the January Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

"Although elderly patients have risk factors for postoperative infections in lung cancer surgery, preoperative rehabilitation may reduce the risk of postoperative complications," Dr. Satoshi Shiono from National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan told Reuters Health.

Dr. Shiono and colleagues studied 1855 patients who underwent surgical resection for lung cancer. Just under 4% of patients developed postoperative respiratory infections, the authors report, and more than 20% of those patients died.

Advanced age, low FEV1%, induction therapy, and pathologic stage were independent risk factors for postoperative pneumonia, the report indicates, whereas only advanced age was a significant risk factor for postoperative empyema.

After the perioperative antibiotic policy was changed to include cefazolin immediately before and 3 hours after surgery, infection incidence rates declined significantly, the researchers note.

"Elderly patients and patients after induction therapy need intensive perioperative management," the authors conclude. "Preoperative rehabilitation may be beneficial for those with impaired lung function."

"In this study, multivariate analysis did not show smoking as risk factor," Dr. Shiono added. "I think smoking cessation is important to prevent the postoperative infections."

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