An ex-vivo isolated, perfused, and ventilated human lung (IPHL) model is well suited for many kinds of physiological, pharmacological, and surgical studies, when the physiological and biochemical conditions in the lung can be maintained near to those in vivo. The aim of this work was to develop such a model. The lung preparations used were available after resection because of bronchial carcinoma. Since the tumor remains intact in these anatomical preparations, this model is particularly suitable for investigation of the pharmacokinetics and effects of anticancer agents. Carrying out a series of 52 IPHL experiments (with 11 whole-lung preparations and 41 lobe preparations), we have established an IPHL model which allows extracorporeal perfusion and ventilation of the resected lungs in physiological conditions for 2-3 hours. The net weight gain during the experiment, wet-to-dry weight ratio for lung tissue, angiography of the pulmonary artery, pulmonary vascular resistance, color and fluorescence of the lung surface, and alveolar gas diffusion into the perfusate proved to be useful parameters to assess the stability of the preparations and the quality of the experiments. To confirm that an intraparenchymal tumor was perfused via the pulmonary artery, methods to detect avidin and dextran-biotin in tumor tissue after administration into the perfusion solution were employed. Histological examination of bronchial as well as tumor tissue, a computerized histoanalyzation, and a tumor grading program demonstrated that IPHL experiments did not interfere with the grading and staging of the tumors-an important ethical precondition for the use of human preparations in an extracorporeal perfusion model.
Breast cancer is the most common malignant disease in women in Europe. In 15-25% of cases, the isolated formation of pulmonary metastases occurs. To date these metastases have been treated mainly by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or hormone therapy. However, good results through pulmonary metastatic resection have been reported increasingly in recent times. From 1979 to 1992, 103 breast-cancer patients underwent surgery for suspected pulmonary metastases in our clinic. Intraoperatively in 88% of the whole group the metastases were confirmed, but in the other 12% they proved to be benign tumors or primary bronchial carcinomas. The operative therapy is standardized in our clinic. The approach is via a median or transverse sternotomy. Wedge resection is the normal procedure, undertaken in 55% of the cases. Complications, which were completely reversible in all cases, occurred in 3%. The 30-day mortality rate was 0%. In the whole patient population, the actuarial 5-year survival was 27%; it was 31% among the completely resected women, whereas no patient undergoing incomplete resection survived 5 years. Taking prognostic criteria into account, there are clear trends. When the disease-free interval exceeded 2 years, the actuarial 5-year survival was 33%, and if the receptor status of the primary tumor was positive, the 3-year survival was 61% compared to 38% for cases with negative receptor status. If a solitary metastasis was removed, the actuarial 5-year survival was 35% as opposed to 0% in cases with more than five metastases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Video-assisted and thermometrically controlled thoracoscopic sympathectomy demonstrates new ways in the treatment of upper-limb hyperhidrosis. An anatomical portrayal of the sympathetic chain is possible as a result of the improved visualization and magnification of the operative area provided by the video-optic technique. The difference in temperature, registered by means of a thermometric sensor in the palm of the hand, indicates that the sympathetic nerves responsible for the hyperhidrotic segments have been severed. The number of postoperative Horner's syndromes will be reduced significantly with this method. Until now, we have successfully treated six thermometrically controlled patients. No recurrences have arisen during an 18 months observation period. Neither intraoperative nor postoperative complications were recorded. One patient complained of increased compensatory sweating of the trunk. Thermometrically controlled thoracoscopic sympathectomy is expected to improve the various forms of treatment available for sympathetic reflex dystrophies in the future.
In contrast to its use in other surgical disciplines, intraoperative sonography has so far been of minor importance in thoracic surgery. The technique of intrathoracic, intraoperative, ultrasonic examination was applied in 85 patients with different indications: in 61 patients during thoracoscopy, in 24 patients during open thoracic surgery. 6 patients eventually underwent a combination of both procedures. In order to improve the intrathoracic maneuverability of the sonographic probe we developed an electrically controllable handle for the probe. The examinations showed a high sensitivity of thoracoscopic ultrasonography for localization of intrapulmonary tumors. In addition, ultrasound was applied to assess the operability of central tumors. The sound frequency available so far for intraoperative application allows a safe distinction of non-infiltrating tumors from vascular structures; the reliable identification of an infiltration mostly requires a higher resolution. If our experiences are confirmed by further application of the method, explorative thoracotomies will surely be partly replaced by explorative thoracoscopic interventions. Ultrasonography has also proved to be useful in visualisation of mediastinal lymph-nodes and tumors, with the possibility of assessing their size.
Video-assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) debridement is gaining importance in the fibrino-purulent phase of empyema thoracis. However, evaluation of this access compared with mere chest tube drainage or thoracotomy remains unsatisfactory. A total of 356 parapneumonic empyemas from 1986 to 1997 were retrospectively analyzed concerning the results after primary treatment (chest tube 225, thoracotomy 80, VAT 51). The three groups did not differ significantly for gender and associated diseases. Median age of the chest tube drainage group (54 years) was higher than for thoracotomy (43.5 years) or VAT (39 years). Median duration of chest tube treatment after thoracotomy (7 days) was shorter than after VAT (13 days) or chest tube drainage (20 days) (P < 0.0001). The more invasive procedures were also superior to the lesser invasive treatment concerning duration of postoperative hospitalization, recurrence rate and treatment failures. In spite of its better results thoracotomy will be pushed back by VAT in the treatment of empyema thoracis. Acceptance of VAT is reflected in rising numbers of admissions. Based on these retrospective results we are planning a prospective multicenter trial to evaluate the indication for VAT in empyema thoracis.
During the last two years video-assisted operative thoracoscopy has introduced new impetus into thoracic surgery. Today it is viewed as a sparing and safe alternative to thoracotomy for a wide spectrum of indications. The prerequisites, instruments, and operative techniques are discussed. In oncological thoracic surgery it still remains to be verified whether the criteria of radicality are fulfilled by this new technique. Using video-assisted operative thoracoscopy, we have successfully operated on 209 patients with the following indications: recurrent pneumothorax (n = 94), interstitial lung disease (n = 25), coin lesion (n = 20), pleural effusion (n = 17), hyperhidrosis (n = 14), mediastinal tumor or lymphoma (n = 10), thoracic empyema (n = 9), bullous emphysema (n = 8), pleural tumor (n = 5), hematothorax (n = 3), malignant pericardial effusion (n = 3), and chylothorax (n = 1). The advantages of this minimally traumatizing operating technique lie in a better view of the operative site, the objectively measurable reduction in postoperative restriction, less pain, earlier postoperative mobilization, and shorter hospital stay. This operating technique, in addition to being sparing, requires markedly less time than a thoracotomy. The disadvantages are the two-dimensional monitor picture and, especially, the loss of palpation.
The ex-vivo isolated human lung perfusion model (IHLP) has proven to be an ideal scientific model for pharmacological investigations of human tumors as an intermediate step between cell culture and in-vivo situation without any disadvantage for the patient. The tumor-to-host interaction is completely saved in this model. However, first pass reactions of drugs in other organs must not play a role for the substances studied with the IHLP. The role and future applications of the isolated perfused human lung model for other indications is discussed.
In a pilot study involving six patients, palmar thermometry was used as a non-invasive method for intraoperative success control during thoracic sympathectomy. Using commercially available thermo-elements and amplifier modules, a marked increase in temperature could be registered in five patients after the severance of their rami communicants grisei for the hand. This effect was associated with the long-term success of therapy for hyperhidrosis in all five patients. This initial experience demonstrates that palmar thermometry is sensitive enough to measure surgical success intraoperatively. The limit of the thoracic sympathectomy in the cranial direction is indicated intraoperatively and Horner's syndrome is avoided with certainty.
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