Central bronchopleural fistulas closed by bronchoscopic injection of absolute ethanol

Chest. 2002 Jul;122(1):374-8. doi: 10.1378/chest.122.1.374.


Five consecutive bronchopleural fistulas (BPFs) were successfully treated by injecting absolute ethanol directly into the submucosal layer of the fistula under flexible bronchoscopic observation. No complications occurred as a result of this treatment. Our nonsurgical treatment may be very useful to reduce the costs of and duration of hospitalization and to improve the patient's quality of life. This is the first report of the bronchoscopic closure of BPFs by injecting absolute ethanol, and we would recommend this treatment as a first-line therapy for patients with a postoperative central BPF with an orifice that is < 3 mm in diameter.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bronchial Fistula / drug therapy*
  • Bronchoscopy / methods*
  • Cause of Death*
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / surgery
  • Pleural Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy


  • Ethanol