The Use of Polyvinyl Alcohol Sponge and Cyanoacrylate Glue in the Treatment of Large and Chronic Bronchopleural Fistulae following Lung Cancer Resection

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Abstract

Background: Bronchopleural fistulae represent a relatively rare complication of pulmonary resection. For inoperable patients, several endoscopic procedures have been described. In the presence of large and chronic bronchopleural fistulae, persistent air leaks require a surgical therapy, while endoscopic airway stent represents a useful palliative treatment. Objective: We describe the successful closure of large and chronic bronchopleural fistulae using an expandable polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sponge and cyanoacrylate glue. Methods: In all patients, a rigid bronchoscope was used to insert a small cylinder of PVA sponge within the fistula. After releasing the patch, cyanoacrylate glue was applied directly on the PVA sponge using a channel catheter. This methodology induces an expansion of the clot and the closure of the air leak. The long-term outcome of treatment was checked by flexible bronchoscopy once every month for 3 months and every 6 months until 5 years. Results: We performed endoscopic treatment in 7 consecutive patients with bronchopleural fistula ranging from 4 to 8 mm. In 6 of 7 patients, the bronchial stump was the site of the fistula. In 1 patient, the fistula was visualized on the right wall of the distal trachea. A temporary complete occlusion of the fistula was achieved in 7 of 7 patients and a definitive result in 5 of 7 patients. Conclusions: The use of an expandable PVA sponge and cyanoacrylate glue is an available strategy for endobronchial closure of bronchopleural fistulae.

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