Surgery Today

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 973–979 | Cite as

Prolonged air leak following lobectomy can be predicted in lung cancer patients

  • Satoru Okada
  • Junichi Shimada
  • Daishiro Kato
  • Hiroaki Tsunezuka
  • Masayoshi InoueEmail author
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to identify the factors associated with prolonged air leak (PAL) following pulmonary lobectomy for lung cancer.


The data of 146 patients who underwent pulmonary lobectomy for lung cancer between August 2010 and July 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Air leaks were assessed daily by a visual evaluation and were categorized as follows: forced expiratory only (Grade 1), expiratory only (Grade 2), or continuous (Grade 3). Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the predictors of PAL (>5 days).


PAL occurred in 23 patients (16%). An air leak at rest (Grade ≥ 2) was detected on postoperative day (POD) 1 in 48% of the patients with PAL and 7% of the patients without PAL. A univariate analysis demonstrated that PAL was significantly associated with male sex, a smoking history of ≥ 40 pack years, a serum albumin level of ≤4.0 mg/dL, and an air leak on POD1 (Grade ≥ 2). A multivariate analysis demonstrated that a serum albumin level of ≤4.0 mg/dL (p = 0.027) and an air leak on POD1 (p = 0.006) were independent predictors of PAL. PAL occurred in 75% of the patients with these two risk factors.


The preoperative serum albumin level and the presence of a visually evaluated air leak on POD1 may be useful indicators for the perioperative management of air leaks.


Lung cancer Surgery Complications Prolonged air leak Nutrition 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in association with the present study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satoru Okada
    • 1
  • Junichi Shimada
    • 1
  • Daishiro Kato
    • 1
  • Hiroaki Tsunezuka
    • 1
  • Masayoshi Inoue
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Graduate School of Medical ScienceKyoto Prefectural University of MedicineKyotoJapan

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