Admission of patients with lung cancer to the ICU has been criticized. We evaluated whether ICU admission improved 3-month survival in patients with nonresectable lung cancer. Factors associated with survival were identified.
A retrospective study was conducted in consecutive nonsurgical patients with lung cancer admitted to three ICUs in France between 2000 and 2007, 2005 and 2007, and 2005 and 2006.
We included 103 patients with a median (interquartile range) Simplified Acute Physiology Score II of 33 (25-46) and logistic organ dysfunction (LOD) score of 3 (1-4). Invasive mechanical ventilation was required in 41 (40%) patients. Sixty-three (61%) patients had metastasis and 26 (25%) an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG-PS) > 2. The reason for ICU admission was acute respiratory failure in 58 (56%) patients. Three-month survival rate was 37% (95% CI, 28%-46%). By multivariate analysis, variables associated with mortality were ECOG-PS > 2 (hazard ratio [HR], 2.65; 95% CI, 1.43-4.88), metastasis at admission (HR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.08-3.33), and worse LOD score (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.08-1.32). An LOD score decrease over the first 72 h was associated with survival.
Survival in nonsurgical patients with lung cancer requiring ICU admission was 37% after 90 days. Our results provide additional evidence that ICU management may be appropriate in patients with nonresectable lung cancer and organ failure.