Risk Factors for Prolonged Air Leak After Pulmonary Resection

Alessandro Brunelli, Stephen D. Cassivi, Lisa Halgren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Practical risk models stratifying the risk of prolonged air leak after pulmonary lobectomy have been developed and discussed. These scores may assist during preoperative patients' counseling, to identify patients at higher risk for prolonged air leak, who may benefit from the use of prophylactic measures such as the use of sealants, buttressed staple lines, or pleural tents. Furthermore, they may be used as standardized inclusion criteria for future randomized clinical trials testing the efficacy of these new technologies, and in doing so make the interpretation of results across different centers and studies more comparable. The clinical use of digital chest drainage units that permit quantitative measurement and recording of air leak flow and intrapleural pressure appears to add to the prediction and management of air leak after pulmonary resection. The use of risk scores based on these digital measures may set the stage for future investigations of active pleural management aimed at treating air leak by tailoring the level of intrapleural pressure to the needs of individual patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalThoracic Surgery Clinics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Chest drainage
  • Chest tubes
  • Prolonged air leak
  • Pulmonary lobectomy
  • Risk factors
  • Risk models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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