J Chest Surg. 2022 Dec 28. doi: 10.5090/jcs.22.110. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: We analyzed our experience with descending necrotizing mediastinitis (DNM) treatment and investigated the efficacy of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for mediastinal drainage.
METHODS: This retrospective analysis included patients who underwent surgical drainage for DNM at our hospital from 2005 to 2020. We analyzed patients’ baseline characteristics, surgical data, and perioperative outcomes and compared them according to the mediastinal drainage approach among patients with type II DNM.
RESULTS: Twenty-five patients (male-to-female ratio, 18:7) with a mean age of 54.0±12.9 years were enrolled in this study. The most common infection sources were pharyngeal infections (60%). Most patients had significantly increased white blood cell counts, elevated C-reactive protein levels, and decreased albumin levels on admission. The most common DNM type was type IIB (n=16, 64%), while 5 and 4 patients had types I and IIA, respectively. For mediastinal drainage, the transcervical approach was used in 15 patients and the transthoracic approach (VATS) in 10 patients. The mean length of hospital stay was 26.5±23.8 days, and the postoperative morbidity and in-hospital mortality rates were 24% and 12%, respectively. No statistically significant differences were found among patients with type II DNM between the transcervical and VATS groups. However, the VATS group showed shorter mean antibiotic therapy duration, drainage duration, and hospital stay length than the transcervical group.
CONCLUSION: DNM manifested as severe infection requiring long-term inpatient treatment, with a mortality rate of 12%. Thus, active treatment with a multidisciplinary approach is crucial, and mediastinal drainage using VATS is considered relatively safe and effective.