Treatment for empyema with bronchopleural fistulas using endobronchial occlusion coils: report of a case

Surg Today. 1999;29(2):186-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02482248.


We report herein the case of a woman with bronchopleural fistulas treated with the endobronchial placement of vascular embolization coils. She was referred to our hospital to undergo lavage of a postoperative empyema. She had undergone an air plombage operation for pulmonary tuberculosis 9 years previously. However, bronchopleural fistulas occurred postoperatively and she had to continue the use of a chest drainage tube since then. Lavage of her empyema space with 5kE of OK-432 (Picibanil: Chugai) plus 100 mg minocycline was performed once every 2 weeks for 3 months, and the purulent discharge from the empyema remarkably decreased. Thereafter, the bronchopleural fistulas were occluded endobronchially by the placement of vascular embolization coils. Soon after the procedure, air leakage from the fistulas was stopped and the drainage tube was removed 2 days later. The patient remains well without any additional treatment at 20 months after this treatment. As treatment for empyema with bronchopleural fistulas, it would be worth trying to lavage the empyema space with OK-432 until it is cleaned out and to plug the fistulas by the endobronchial placement of embolization coils, before such radical operations as thoracoplasty and space-filling of the empyema are considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bronchial Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchial Fistula / etiology
  • Bronchial Fistula / therapy*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Empyema, Pleural / diagnostic imaging
  • Empyema, Pleural / etiology
  • Empyema, Pleural / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Fistula / etiology
  • Fistula / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Minocycline / therapeutic use
  • Picibanil / therapeutic use
  • Pleural Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pleural Diseases / etiology
  • Pleural Diseases / therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Picibanil
  • Minocycline