To assess lung function, gas exchange, exercise capacity, and right-sided heart hemodynamics, including pulmonary artery pressure, in patients long term after pneumonectomy.
Among 523 consecutive patients who underwent pneumonectomy for lung cancer between January 1992 and September 2001, 117 were alive in 2006 and 100 were included in the study. During a 1-day period, each patient had complete medical history, chest radiographs, pulmonary function studies, resting arterial blood gas analysis, 6-minute walk test, and Doppler echocardiography.
Most patients (N = 73) had no or only minimal dyspnea. On the basis of predicted values, functional losses in forced expiratory volume in 1 second and forced vital capacity were 38% ± 18% and 31% ± 24%, respectively, and carbon monoxide diffusing capacity decreased by 31% ± 18%. There was a significant correlation between preoperative and postoperative forced expiratory volume in 1 second (P