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STS 2024: Risk Factors and Predictors of VTE in Patients Undergoing Lung Cancer Surgery

By: Lauren Velentzas
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2024

New research presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) may help clinicians to detect venous thromboembolism (VTE) more quickly in patients who undergo pulmonary resection for lung cancer, leading to prevention of blood clot formation and subsequent pulmonary embolism (PE). The study, conducted by Andrea L. Axtell, MD, MPH, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and colleagues found that risk factors for postoperative PE included Black race, interstitial fibrosis, advanced-stage disease requiring bilobectomy or pneumonectomy, and longer duration of surgery.

The study authors used data from the STS General Thoracic Surgery Database, which has more than 700,000 procedure records from over 1,000 participating surgeons. Dr. Axtell and colleagues analyzed the results of 57,531 adults who underwent pulmonary resection between 2009 and 2021. They found that patients with postoperative PE had increased 30-day mortality, reintubation, and readmission rates. A total of 758 patients were found to have developed blood clots, and there was a 2.5% occurrence of postoperative VTE and a 1.3% occurrence of postoperative PE. Although Black race, advanced-stage disease, and duration of surgery were all observed to be risk factors, the researchers found no correlation between risk and lung function prior to surgery, histology, or receipt of chemotherapy before surgery.

“Because the predominating risk factors for postoperative VTE identified in this analysis are nonmodifiable, and because VTE-associated mortality is increased, enhanced awareness and targeted perioperative prophylactic measures should be considered in these high-risk cohorts,” said Dr. Axtell.

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