Background: The sensitivity of postoperative pleural air leakage (PAL) after pulmonary resection is evaluated by a simple subjective grading method in clinical practice. A new electronic digital chest drainage evaluation system (DCS) recently became clinically available. This study was designed to evaluate the clinical application of the DCS in monitoring the airflow volume and managing postoperative PAL. Methods: We prospectively enrolled 25 patients who underwent pulmonary resection. Postoperative PAL was evaluated using both conventional PAL grading based on the physician’s visual judgment (analog chest drainage evaluation system [ACS]: Level 0 = no leakage to 4 = continuous leakage) and the DCS. The DCS digital measurement was recorded as the flow volume (ml/min), which was taken once daily from postoperative day 1 to the day of chest drainage tube removal. Results: In total, 45 measurements were performed on 25 patients during the evaluation period. Postoperative PAL was observed in five patients (20.0%) and judged as ACS Level >1. The mean DCS values corresponding to ACS Levels 0, 1, 2, and 3 were 2.42 (0.0–11.3), 48.6 (35.4–67.9), 95.6 (79.7–111.5), and 405.3 (150.3–715.6), respectively. The Spearman correlation test showed a significant positive correlation between the ACS PAL level and DCS flow volume (R = 0.8477, p < 0.001). Conclusions: A relationship between the visual PAL level by the ACS and the digital value by the DCS was identified in this study. The numeric volume obtained by the DCS has been successful in information-sharing with all staff. The digital PAL value evaluated by the DCS is appropriate, and the use of the DCS is promising in the treatment of postoperative PAL after pulmonary resection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)