Comorbidity, postoperative morbidity and survival in patients undergoing radical surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma

European Journal of cardio-thoracic surgery; official journal of the European Association for cardio-thoracic surgery 2016 June 21 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Infante M, Morenghi E, Bottoni E, Zucali P, Rahal D, Morlacchi A, Ascolese AM, De Rose F, Navarria P, Crepaldi A, Testori A, Voulaz E, Errico V, Perrino M, Scorsetti M, Chiti A, Santoro A, Alloisio M.


We examined a series of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) patients who underwent radical surgery to explore relationships among comorbidity, postoperative morbidity and survival.
A retrospective analysis was carried out of all MPM patients operated on in a single centre from 2000 to 2015. The Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) was used to classify patients according to their underlying condition. Postoperative complications were scored according to WHO-derived criteria. Survival comparisons were performed by Cox analysis.
Ninety-one patients underwent extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), 47 underwent pleurectomy decortication (PD) and 25 underwent palliative pleurectomy. The mean CCI of PD patients was significantly higher compared with that of EPP patients (P= 0.044). The frequency of grade 3+ complications was similar between EPP and PD (27 vs 26%). However, EPP patients had a 6-fold higher frequency of pleural sepsis (24 vs 4%, P= 0.002) occurring up to 695 days postoperatively. Median overall survival was 19 months (95% CI 13-25) after EPP, 30 months (95% CI 20-35) after PD and 13 months (95% CI 5-32) after palliative pleurectomy. At multivariate analysis, CCI (P< 0.001), histology (P= 0.014) and pleural sepsis (P= 0.001), but not complete resection, were significantly associated with survival. There was a trend in favour of PD over palliative resection after adjusting for histology and CCI. CONCLUSIONS: The CCI is an independent predictor of survival in MPM patients undergoing radical surgery. Owing to its significant frequency and adverse impact, pleural sepsis may contribute to a reduced life expectancy after EPP. Surgical treatment of MPM remains debatable.