Influx of air into the left atrium during lung resection
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In this study, we aimed to determine conditions associated with the development of air bubbles in the pulmonary veins during lung resection.
A total of 28 patients who underwent lung resection at our institution between October 2016 and March 2018 were included in the study. An intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography was conducted, and the influx of air bubbles in the orifice of the pulmonary vein leading to the left atrium was observed during lung resection.
The median age of all patients was 75 years. The study included 13 men and 15 women. Moreover, seven, 14, and seven patients underwent wedge resection, segmentectomy, and lobectomy, respectively. The presence of air bubbles was observed in 15 patients and was detected when the lung parenchyma was cut (13 patients) or compressed (3 patients) using staplers and when an energy device was used (1 patient). No postoperative organ infarction occurred in any patients.
Although the presence of air bubbles was noted in the pulmonary vein during lung resection via transesophageal echocardiography, the clinical condition of the patients in our study did not deteriorate. The clinical significance of air bubbles is not clear. Therefore, more data about such events must be collected in future.
KeywordsSystemic air embolism Transesophageal echocardiography Air bubbles Lung resection
This study was not supported by a sponsor or funding agency.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.
Video 1: We identified air bubbles during transesophageal echocardiography when the lung parenchyma was cut. The patient in this figure is the same as the one in Fig. 1. (MPG 7066 KB)
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