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Open Access Research article

Using quantitative breath sound measurements to predict lung function following resection

Rodolfo C Morice1*, Carlos A Jimenez1, Georgie A Eapen1, Reza J Mehran2, Leendert Keus1 and David Ost1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd. Unit 1462, Houston, Texas, 77030, USA

2 Department Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd. Unit 0445, Houston, Texas, 77030, USA

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Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2010, 5:81  doi:10.1186/1749-8090-5-81

Published: 12 October 2010

Abstract

Background

Predicting postoperative lung function is important for estimating the risk of complications and long-term disability after pulmonary resection. We investigated the capability of vibration response imaging (VRI) as an alternative to lung scintigraphy for prediction of postoperative lung function in patients with intrathoracic malignancies.

Methods

Eighty-five patients with intrathoracic malignancies, considered candidates for lung resection, were prospectively studied. The projected postoperative (ppo) lung function was calculated using: perfusion scintigraphy, ventilation scintigraphy, and VRI. Two sets of assessments made: one for lobectomy and one for pneumonectomy. Clinical concordance was defined as both methods agreeing that either a patient was or was not a surgical candidate based on a ppoFEV1% and ppoDLCO% > 40%.

Results

Limits of agreement between scintigraphy and VRI for ppo following lobectomy were -16.47% to 15.08% (mean difference = -0.70%;95%CI = -2.51% to 1.12%) and for pneumonectomy were -23.79% to 19.04% (mean difference = -2.38%;95%CI = -4.69% to -0.07%). Clinical concordance between VRI and scintigraphy was 73% for pneumonectomy and 98% for lobectomy. For patients who had surgery and postoperative lung function testing (n = 31), ppoFEV1% using scintigraphic methods correlated with measured postoperative values better than projections using VRI, (adjusted R2 = 0.32 scintigraphy; 0.20 VRI), however the difference between methods failed to reach statistical significance. Limits of agreement between measured FEV1% postoperatively and ppoFEV1% based on perfusion scintigraphy were -16.86% to 23.73% (mean difference = 3.44%;95%CI = -0.29% to 7.16%); based on VRI were -19.56% to 28.99% (mean difference = 4.72%;95%CI = 0.27% to 9.17%).

Conclusions

Further investigation of VRI as an alternative to lung scintigraphy for prediction of postoperative lung function is warranted.