Methylene Blue for Bronchopleural Fistula Localization

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Abstract

A bronchopleural fistula (BPF) is a communication between the pleural space and the bronchial tree. BPFs are challenging to diagnose and are associated with a high morbidity and mortality. Sequential balloon occlusion is commonly used for localization of a BPF. We describe our experience with 4 cases of successful localization of the BPF by instillation of methylene blue into the pleural space through a pigtail catheter, with simultaneous bronchoscopic visualization of dye in the tracheobronchial tree. Two patients were treated with endobronchial valves and 3 had a surgical thoracic muscle flap placed.

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