Accelerated treatment of concomitant empyema and lung cancer by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
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Background: The most common cause of pleural empyema are parapneumonic effusions, and lung cancer is a rare cause of empyema. The aim of the present study is to analyse the results of the thoracoscopic treatment of empyema before definitive oncological treatment. Methods: Retrospective descriptive study of 332 patients including different clinical variables between 2002 and 2010. Results: Among 332 patients with empyema, the etiology of this disease was lung cancer in 11 patients. Ten of these patients were male and one was female (median age, 57.9 years; range, 46-76). The initial treatment was tube thoracostomy in 8 patients and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery in 3 patients. Thoracoscopic debridement was performed in 4 patients whose tube thoracostomy underperformed because of insufficient drainage. The methods used for diagnosis of lung cancer were fiberoptic bronchoscopy and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. Surgical resection was performed on 7 suitable patients following infection control. Postoperative bronchopleural fistula and empyema occurred after pneumonectomy in one case. No operative mortality was observed. The mean survival time was 32.8 months for patients undergoing resection. Conclusions: Empyema could be a rare presentation of lung cancer and those suitable for surgical treatment should undergo standard treatment with reasonable results. (C) 2014 AEC. Published by Elsevier Espana, S.L.U. All rights reserved.