Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2015 August 25 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Williams T, Duraid H, Watson S, Durkin A, Todd K, Kindler HL, Vigneswaran WT.



A survival advantage has been observed among patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma undergoing maximal cytoreductive surgery and adjuvant therapy. Elderly patients are considered higher risk for these radical operations and are commonly not offered surgical treatment. We reviewed our experience with extended pleurectomy and decortication among patients 70 years or older and compared them with a cohort of younger patients undergoing extended pleurectomy and decortication for malignant pleural mesothelioma.


We performed a retrospective review of 117 consecutive patients undergoing extended pleurectomy and decortication at a university hospital from January 2008 to December 2013. Patients 70 years and older were compared with younger patients for postoperative outcome and survival. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.


Fifty-four patients were 70 years or older; 63 were younger than 70 years. Older patients had more hypertension (71.2% versus 45.2%; p = 0.004) and coronary artery disease (22.6% versus 6.5%; p = 0.006). Major complications occurred in 3 patients (5.5%) in the older group and in 7 patients (11.1%) of the younger group (not significant). There were 2 deaths in each group after surgery (3.7% older versus 3.2% younger; not significant). Median survival was 15.6 months in the older patients and 14.0 months in the younger patients (not significant). Kaplan-Meier survival curves based on age groups were not significantly different with 1- and 2-year survivals of 64% versus 55% and 29% versus 32%, respectively.


Our study demonstrates that whereas age may be associated with more comorbid conditions in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma undergoing extended pleurectomy and decortication, this does not necessarily translate into increased operative morbidity or mortality or shorter long-term survival.