Systematic review of pleurectomy in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma

Christopher Cao*, David H. Tian, Kristopher A. Pataky, Tristan D. Yan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma includes a number of procedures with different clinical indications and therapeutic intents. To unify the nomenclature, IMIG and IASLC recently defined P/D-related procedures according to surgical technique, including 'extended P/D', 'P/D' and 'partial pleurectomy'. The present systematic review aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of these techniques. Methods: A systematic review of relevant studies was performed by electronic search of five online databases from 1985 to 2012 by two independent reviewers according to predefined selection criteria. Results: Thirty-four studies involving 1916 patients who underwent pleurectomy were included for quantitative analysis. These included 12 studies on 'extended P/D', 8 studies on 'P/D' and 14 studies on 'partial pleurectomy'. Perioperative mortality ranged from 0% to 11% and perioperative morbidity ranged from 13% to 43%. Median overall survival ranged from 7.1 to 31.7 months and disease-free survival ranged from 6 to 16 months. One study reported on quality-of-life outcomes using a standardized questionnaire suggesting superior outcomes for 'extended P/D' compared to extrapleural pneumonectomy. Conclusions: Results of the present systematic review suggested similar perioperative mortality outcomes between different P/D techniques but a trend towards higher morbidity and length of hospitalization for patients who underwent 'extended P/D'. However, overall and disease-free survival appeared to favour 'extended P/D' compared to less aggressive techniques. Future studies on P/D should adhere to recent definitions to enable accurate analysis of similar procedures. Direct comparisons of pleurectomy to extrapleural pneumonectomy remain challenging, and should be restricted to 'extended P/D' procedures only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

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