A Unique Role for the Right Heart Catheter

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Increased use of endobronchial stents require pulmonary and critical care physicians to be familiar with potential complications that may arise from device placement. Mucus plugging of airway stents is a well-documented complication of airway stents. This case report describes mucus plugging of an indwelling endobronchial stent leading to respiratory failure. After multiple attempts to clear the occluded stent, a right heart catheter was passed through a therapeutic bronchoscope and the balloon was inflated to clear the tenacious mucus. Little data exist regarding the treatment of airway stent complications. As a result, creative measures are often needed to intervene on malfunctioning indwelling airway stents.

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