Background: To synthesize the concept of muscle-sparing thoracotomies for major pulmonary resections and to explore the relationship between Kraissl’s lines and skin incisions perpendicular to them.
Methods: Systematic literature review was performed of MEDLINE database. Articles were selected if they described adult patients undergoing major pulmonary resection by way of a well described thoracotomy that neither partially nor completely transects outer thoracic muscles, and that is independent of endoscopic instruments, and video technology. Median sternotomy was excluded.
Results and Discussion: On the basis of analysis of 45 articles we propose an anatomical classification of muscle-sparing thoracotomies considering the way in which the muscles are spared. Classification distinguishes five types of muscle-sparing thoracotomies which are represented originally using cylindrical projection of thorax. Type I is realized by enlarging auscultatory triangle, Type II by splitting of latissimus dorsi muscle fibers beneath the bifurcation of thoracodorsal nerve and artery, Type III by retracting latissimus muscle posteriorly and serratus anterior muscle anteriorly, Type IV by separating digitations of serratus anterior muscle in front of the long thoracic nerve, and Type V by disinserting serratus anterior muscle in its medial part. The significance of Kraissl’s lines remains unknown.
Conclusions: Proposed classification is original and might have a didactic role. It facilitates evidence-based approach to comparative studies. Thoracic maps are a useful way to express this concept.
Published on: Sep 10, 2015 Pages: 35-44