Pneumonia is one of the most frequently occurring complications after esophagectomy and is associated with increased operative mortality. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is known to be a risk factor for pulmonary complications and operative mortality. However, in COPD patients preparing for esophagectomy, preventive measures against postoperative pneumonia have not yet been discovered. In this study, we evaluate the effect of perioperative inhaled tiotropium, a long-acting, antimuscarinic bronchodilator used in the management of COPD, on patients with COPD who undergo esophageal cancer surgery.
This study investigates the effect of perioperative inhaled tiotropium on patients with COPD who undergo esophagectomy. It is an open-label, randomized controlled trial conducted in a single center (EPITOPE study). A total of 32 enrolled patients are randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to either conventional management or inhalation of tiotropium in addition to the conventional management. Patients included in the intervention group receive tiotropium Respimat 5 μg (two inhalations of 2.5 μg) for at least 2 weeks before the esophagectomy. Following the esophagectomy, tiotropium is re-delivered, starting as early as possible and continuing until the postoperative evaluation (between 30 and 44 days after the operation). The primary outcome is the incidence of pneumonia within 30 days after esophagectomy. Secondary outcomes are the incidence of cardiovascular complications within 30 days after esophagectomy, the incidence of any postoperative complications within 30 days after esophagectomy, pulmonary function (preintervention, preoperative, and postoperative), walking distance in the incremental shuttle walking test (preintervention, preoperative, and postoperative), the incidence of adverse events, and mortality within 30 days after esophagectomy.
The EPITOPE study is the first pilot study on the effects of perioperative inhaled tiotropium on patients with COPD undergoing esophagectomy. After completing this study, we will plan a multicenter RCT with the appropriate outcomes in the future.
© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.