Journal Article

Right ventricular morphology and function after pulmonary resection

Janusz Kowalewski, Marian Brocki, Tadeusz Dryjański, Krzysztof Kaproń and Stanisław Barcikowski

in European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Published on behalf of European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Volume 15, issue 4, pages 444-448
Published in print April 1999 | ISSN: 1010-7940
Published online April 1999 | e-ISSN: 1873-734X | DOI:
Right ventricular morphology and function after pulmonary resection

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  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery


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Objective: To identify the effect of pulmonary resection on right ventricular performance and its possible contribution to mortality and morbidity. Methods: Before and 2 days after pulmonary resection for primary lung cancer in 31 patients (21 males; ages 32–69 years), echocardiographic examinations of the right ventricle were performed. Systolic, diastolic and stroke volumes as well as right ventricular ejection fraction were estimated. Right ventricular volumes were calculated using the subtracting method. Results: Right ventricular end-diastolic volume index increased significantly in patients after pneumonectomy: 80.4±7.2 ml/m2 versus preoperative evaluation: 66.1±5.2 ml/m2 (P=0.031). In patients who underwent pneumonectomy right ventricular ejection fraction significantly decreased from 48±5.0% preoperatively to 39%±4.1% after surgery (P=0.027). Fourteen patients after pneumonectomy had development of supraventricular arrhythmias postoperatively. These patients had much higher right ventricular end-diastolic volume index (76.3±6.4/82.1±7.4; P=0.032) and lower right ventricular ejection fraction (42±4.3/37±3.9; P=0.021) after surgery in comparison with patients who had normal sinus rhythm postoperatively. Conclusion: Pulmonary resection caused a significant dilatation and dysfunction of right ventricle in the early postoperative period. Early detection of deterioration in right ventricular function after pneumonectomy may provide the opportunity for interventional therapy.

Keywords: Lung cancer; Surgery; Pneumonectomy; Right ventricle; Echocardiography

Journal Article.  2853 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine ; Cardiothoracic Surgery

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