Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2015 February 7 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Rena O, Boldorini R, Papalia E, Mezzapelle R, Baietto G, Roncon A, Casadio C.



To investigate the prognostic effect of persistent lung expansion after pleural talcage and other variables in non-surgically resected malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) patients.


All consecutive patients submitted to video-assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) pleurodesis by talc poudrage for MPM between 2006 and 2011 were studied. The following parameters were prospectively recorded: age; sex; smoking history; asbestos exposure; C-reactive protein (CRP) levels; platelet (PLT) count; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS); histologic subtype; clinical stage (cStage); chemotherapy; pleural fluid volume; and persistence of lung expansion at 3 months follow-up. Survival was assessed in June 2013.


A total of 172 patients were considered; 146 of 172 patients demonstrated a complete lung expansion at discharge, whereas only 85 of 172 patients had persistent expanded lung on the affected side at the 3-month follow-up chest x-ray. Median survival was 11.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 10% to 14%) and 2-year disease-specific survival was 13% (95% CI, 7% to 24%) for the entire cohort. Multivariate analysis showed that non-epithelioid histology (hazard ratio [HR], 2.81; 95% CI, 1.82% to 5.09%), pleural fluid recurrence (HR 2.54; 95% CI, 1.73% to 4.40%), cStage greater than II (HR 2.36; 95% CI, 1.50% to 4.32%), ECOG PS greater than 1 (HR 2.19; 95% CI, 1.26% to 4.23%), CRP greater than 5 mg/L (HR 2.01; 95% CI, 1.18% to 4.12%), and PLT count greater than 400,000 (HR 1.76; 95% CI 1.14% to 3.92%) were independent predictors of poor prognosis.


Persistent lung expansion after pleural talc poudrage and absence of fluid recurrence is demonstrated to be a stronger factor in predicting survival rather than clinical stage and other clinical variables in not surgically resected MPM patients.