Combined pneumonectomy and partial resection of the left atrium was performed in 12 patients with advanced lung carcinoma (T3 and T4 in the new UICC classification). In the eight patients with a T3 lung carcinoma intrapericardial atrial resection with vascular clamping was carried out; four of the patients died within a year. The remaining four patients had a T4 tumour and underwent removal of the right lung and part of the left atrium under total cardiopulmonary bypass. One patient died shortly after the operation from cerebral and cerebellar infarction, and one died 11 months later from brain metastases. Two are alive and well. Complete resection appears to offer a chance for longer survival in patients with advanced lung carcinoma that extends directly into the intrapericardial pulmonary vessels or atrium.
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