ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Quantitative measurement of air leak in patients with chest drains
Önder Kavurmacı1, Ufuk Çağırıcı1, Tevfik İlker Akçam1, Ali Özdil1, Ayşe Gül Ergönül1, Kutsal Turhan1, Alpaslan Çakan1
1Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Ege University School of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2019.16735
Background: This study aims to evaluate a new method that detects peak air leak speed and peak air leak flow, investigate the correlation between the amount of air leak and development of prolonged air leak, and identify patients who are at risk of developing prolonged air leak after lung resection.

Methods: In this prospective trial, the amount of air leak was measured with the assistance of an anemometer connected to the top of a standard underwater drainage system, and a mobile phone with android operating system. Patients who underwent tube thoracostomy for spontaneous pneumothorax were assigned to group 1 (18 males, 1 female; mean age 31.6±10.9 years; range, 18 to 70 years), whereas patients who underwent lung resection for benign or malignant lung diseases were assigned to group 2 (37 males; 16 females; mean age 56.9±15.6 years; range, 18 to 80 years). The receiver operating characteristics analysis was performed for the statistical analysis of the data.

Results: Prolonged air leak was observed in five patients (26.3%) in group 1 and in six patients (11.3%) in group 2. In group 1, first measurement on postoperative day zero could detect prolonged air leak development with 100% sensitivity and 92.9% specificity. Similarly, in group 2, measurements on day zero could detect prolonged air leak development with 100% sensitivity and 87.2% specificity.

Conclusion: Compared to similar products, this newly developed measuring device may be widely used in clinics with its low cost and ease of use. Measured peak air leak flow values can predict patients who may develop prolonged air leak. Patent work for the device is ongoing.

Keywords : Chest tube; lung diseases; pneumothorax
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