Timing to perform VATS for traumatic-retained hemothorax (a systematic review and meta-analysis)

Behrad Ziapour, Elmira Mostafidi, Homayoun Sadeghi-Bazargani, Ali Kabir, Ikenna Okereke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this systematic review, we analyzed the optimal time range to evacuate traumatic-retained hemothorax using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, Google Scholar, and the U.S. National Library of Medicine clinical trials database up to February 2019. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies with relevant data were included. Data were extracted from studies that reported the success, mortality, or length of hospital stay (LOS) after using VATS during at least two out of three of our time-ranges of interest: days 1–3 (group A), days 4–6 (group B), and day 7 or later (group C). Results: Six cohort studies with 476 total participants were included in the meta-analysis. The patients in group A had a significantly higher success rate than those in group C (RR = 0.42; 95% CI = 0.21–0.84, p = 0.01). The total LOS for patients whose retained hemothorax was evacuated in group A was 4.7 days shorter than that for those in group B (95% CI = − 5.6 to − 3.8, p = 0.006). Likewise, group B patients were discharged 18.1 days earlier than group C patients (95% CI = − 22.3 to − 14, p < 0.001). Short-term mortality was not decreased by early VATS. Conclusions: Our results indicate that VATS should be considered within the first three days of admission if this intervention is the clinician's choice to evacuate a traumatic-retained hemothorax.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemothorax
  • Retained hemothorax
  • Thoracic injuries
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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