Endobronchial Treatment of Bronchopleural Fistulas by Using Intrabronchial Valve System: A Case Series

Eitan Podgaetz Gliksberg, Rafael S Andrade, Felix D Zamora, Heidi Gibson, H. Erhan Dincer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Air leaks, alveolopleural or bronchopleural fistulas, either spontaneous, iatrogenic, or postsurgical, can be difficult to treat, and if prolonged in spite of proper chest tube thoracostomy they may require surgical or chemical pleurodesis with variable success. Intrabronchial valve (IBV) treatment is minimally invasive and has a potential to shorten the duration of air leaks in well-selected patients with ongoing air leaks. The study included 19 patients with prolonged air leaks treated with IBVs spiration, with a total of 71 valves placed at a tertiary university hospital. Internal Board Review approval was obtained to use IBVs for off-label indication. IBVs were placed in desired airways with 100% accuracy in patients with air leaks without complications, including self-migration. All 19 patients with air leaks were initially treated with chest tube thoracostomy and in addition chemical pleurodesis in 2 and blood patch in a patient without success. After IBV placement, all patients but one with air leak had successful resolution of the air leak and removal of chest tube in a median of 3 days (range: 2-45 days). In conclusion, the use of IBVs for prolonged air leaks in various etiologies is effective and safe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-222
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2 2015


  • Alveolopleural fistula
  • Bronchopleural fistula
  • Bronchoscopic
  • IBV valve
  • Prolonged air leak


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