Reduction of persistent air leak with endoscopic valve implants

Tudor P. Toma; Onn Min Kon; Oldfield, William; Sanefuji, Reina; Griffiths, Mark; Wells, Frank; Sivasothy, Siva; Dusmet, Michael; Geddes, Duncan M.; Polkey, Michael I.
September 2007
Thorax;Sep2007, Vol. 62 Issue 9, p830
Academic Journal
The standard management of air leaks due to persistent bronchopleural fistula involves chest drainage and occasionally pleurodesis, with intractable cases requiring surgical decortication or surgical repair. However, some of these patients may be at high risk for surgery, particularly if they have already had thoracic surgery or have other medical problems; for this group there is a need for less invasive methods of stopping or reducing air leaks. Emphasys endobronchial valves (EBV) are occlusive devices designed primarily for endoscopic lung volume reduction in emphysema. Because the device is a one-way inspiratory airway blocker, it is possible that it could be used in controlling persistent air leaks while maintaining the drainage of secretions. Two cases are reported of persistent air leaks that were managed by endoscopic occlusion with EBV. In one case complete stoppage of the air leak was achieved with immediate clinical benefits. The second patient died 5 days after treatment from additional complications apparently not related to the procedure. Endobronchial blockage may be a useful salvage procedure for patients with persistent air leak for whom there is no other treatment available.


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