Are Surgical Outcomes for Lung Cancer Resections Improved at Teaching Hospitals?

Robert A. Meguid, Benjamin S. Brooke, David C. Chang, John Timothy Sherwood, Malcolm V. Brock, Stephen C. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Background: Defining centers of excellence for complex surgical procedures, including pulmonary resection, reveals lower mortality at high-volume centers. We postulate that short-term outcome after lung cancer resection is better at teaching hospitals (TH) compared with nonteaching hospitals (non-TH), independent of volume. Methods: Lung cancer resections in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) dataset from 1998 to 2004 were stratified by resection type (segmentectomy, lobectomy, and pneumonectomy). The TH identified in the NIS include those with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-approved general surgery (GSTH) and thoracic surgery (TSTH) residency programs. The association of hospital teaching status with in-hospital mortality was assessed by multivariate logistic regression, adjusting for patient demographics and comorbidities. Results: Of 46,951 lung resections (5,651 segmentectomies, 37,027 lobectomies, 4,273 pneumonectomies), 56% were performed at TH. Overall mortality was significantly lower at TH versus non-TH (3.2% vs 4.0%; p < 0.001). Subgroup analysis for GSTH and TSTH confirmed this decrease. On multivariate regression, overall odds of death was independently reduced by 17% at TH versus non-TH (95% confidence interval: 0.73 to 0.93; p = 0.002). At TH, odds of death for pneumonectomy and lobectomy were significantly reduced independent of surgical volume, except for the latter at the highest hospital volume strata. Conclusions: In-hospital mortality is reduced for patients undergoing lung cancer resections at teaching hospitals, with results prominent at all but the highest volume institutions. Lower mortality rates persisted at GSTH and TSTH. Understanding and disseminating the processes of care associated with these settings may improve quality of care for lung cancer patients, and decrease patient bias against teaching hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1025
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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