Surgical treatment of bronchiectasis in children

J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Oct;39(10):1532-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2004.06.009.


Background purpose: Surgical treatment of childhood bronchiectasis has not been discussed extensively because of decline in prevalence and experience with this disease. It remains controversial as to which children would benefit from surgery and surgical points that may affect the outcome. Therefore, a retrospective series was prepared to evaluate the results of surgical treatment of bronchiectasis in children.

Methods: The records of 54 children who underwent surgery for bronchiectasis between 1991 and 2002 were analyzed retrospectively for age; sex; clinical features; radiologic examinations; details of surgery including type of resection, operative morbidity, and mortality; and outcome.

Results: Fifty-four patients underwent 58 pulmonary resections during the study period. The mean ages at diagnosis of bronchiectasis and at the time of surgery were 7.80 +/- 3.70 years (range, 1 to 15 years) and 9.25 +/- 3.92 years (range, 1.5 to 17 years), respectively, with a male to female ratio of 5:4. The causes of bronchiectasis were lung infection (n = 39), hereditary and inborn diseases (n = 14), and foreign body aspiration (n = 1). Chest X-rays, bronchography (n = 12) or chest computed tomography (n = 43), and ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy (n = 13) were used, and pulmonary function tests (n = 21) and bronchoscopy (n = 54) were performed. The types of resections were lobectomy (63%), pneumonectomy (18.5%), lobectomy with segmentectomy (11.1%), segmentectomy (3.7%), and bilobectomy (3.7%). Four patients required a second operation. Forty-one patients (76%) had complete resection, and 13 patients (24%) had incomplete resection. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were encountered in 4 (7.4%) and 4 patients (7.4%), respectively. The course after surgery was well in 23 (42.5%), improved in 23 (42.5%), and unchanged or worse in 5 patients (9.4%). The mortality rate was 5.6%.

Conclusions: The decision for bronchiectasis surgery should be made in cooperation with the chest diseases unit. Anatomic localization of the disease should be mapped clearly by radiologic and scintigraphic investigations. The morbidity and mortality rates of bronchiectasis surgery are within acceptable ranges. Most of the children benefit from surgery, especially when total excision is accomplished. Pneumonectomy is well tolerated in children without increase in morbidity and mortality. Therefore, pneumonectomy may be preferred instead of leaving residual disease when bronchiectasis is unilateral.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnosis
  • Bronchiectasis / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Arrest / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Pulmonary Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Pulmonary Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome