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Pulmonary tractotomy versus lung resection: viable options in penetrating lung injury. J Trauma 2001 Dec;51(6):1092-5; discussion 1096-7



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0035672387 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   37 Citations


BACKGROUND: Emergency lung resection following penetrating chest trauma has been associated with mortality rates as high as 55-100%. Pulmonary tractotomy is advocated as a rapid alternative method of dealing with deep lobar injuries. We reviewed our experience with resection and tractotomy to determine whether method of management affects mortality or if patient presentation is more critical in determining outcome.

METHODS: A retrospective review of all patients with chest injury seen at an urban Level I trauma center from 2/89-1/99 was performed. All patients undergoing parenchymal surgery were included. Records were abstracted for grade of injury, type of resection, presenting systolic blood pressure (SBP), temperature, Injury Severity Score (ISS), operative time, and estimated blood loss (EBL). Mortality and thoracic complications were compared between groups.

RESULTS: Two hundred forty-six of 2736 patients with penetrating chest trauma underwent thoracotomy, with 70 (28%) requiring some form of lung resection. There were 11 (15.7%) deaths. Patients who died had lower SBP (53 +/- 32 mm Hg vs 77 +/- 28 mm Hg), lower temperature (32.5 degrees +/- 1.3 degrees C vs 34.3 degrees +/- 1.2 degrees C), higher ISS (33 +/- 13 vs 23 +/- 9), and greater EBL (9.8 +/- 4.3 liters vs 2.8 +/- 2.1 liters) compared with survivors (p < 0.05 for all). Mortality was also increased in the presence of cardiac injury (33% with vs 12% without) and the need for laparotomy (26% with vs 9% without) (p < 0.05 for all). Tractotomy was associated with an increased incidence of chest complications (67% vs 24%, p = 0.05) compared with lobectomy with no difference in presenting physiology, operative time, or mortality.

CONCLUSION: Lung resection for penetrating injuries can be done safely with morbidity and mortality rates lower than previously reported. Patient outcome is related to severity of injury rather than type of resection. Tractotomy is associated with a higher incidence of infectious complications and is not associated with shortened operative times or survival.

Author List

Gasparri M, Karmy-Jones R, Kralovich KA, Patton JH Jr, Arbabi S


Mario G. Gasparri MD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Emergency Treatment
Injury Severity Score
Medical Records
Middle Aged
Pulmonary Surgical Procedures
Retrospective Studies
Trauma Centers
Wounds, Penetrating