Digital Air Leak Monitoring for Lung Resection Patients: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial.

Plourde, Madelaine; Jad, Ahmed; Dorn, Patrick; Harris, Kyla; Mujoomdar, Aneil; Henteleff, Harry; French, Daniel; Bethune, Drew (2018). Digital Air Leak Monitoring for Lung Resection Patients: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 106(6), pp. 1628-1632. Elsevier 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.06.080

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Digital chest drainage devices objectively measure airflow to guide chest tube management. There are contradictory results regarding their utility in reducing length of stay and chest tube duration. The objective of this study was to compare digital and analog devices in patients undergoing anatomic lung resection.


A single-institution randomized trial was conducted. Patients undergoing anatomic lung resection between November 2013 and July 2016 were randomized to digital or analog devices. Chest tubes were managed using a standardized protocol. Hospital length of stay and chest tube duration were primary outcomes. Chest tube clamping, number of chest roentgenograms, and chest tube reinsertion were secondary outcomes.


The study randomized 215 patients, with 107 in the digital group and 108 in the analog group. There was no significant difference in outcomes for length of stay (p = 1), chest tube duration (p = 0.71), number of chest roentgenograms performed (p = 0.78) or need for chest tube reinsertion (p = 0.21). The only significant finding was a higher number of patients who had their chest tubes clamped before removal, with 47% in the analog group and 19% in the digital group (p < 0.0001).


Digital devices did not result in reduced chest tube duration or hospital length of stay. Approximately one half of the patients in the analog group had their chest tubes clamped before removal because of uncertainty in air leak assessment. Digital devices provided objective quantification of air leaks that decreased chest tube clamping.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Mu50 > Forschungsgruppe Thoraxchirurgie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Thoracic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Dorn, Patrick


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Thomas Michael Marti

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2019 14:55

Last Modified:

20 Dec 2019 19:05

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