Emergency use of an endobronchial one-way valve in the management of severe air leak and massive subcutaneous emphysema

Lung. 2010 Jun;188(3):253-7. doi: 10.1007/s00408-009-9204-0. Epub 2009 Dec 9.


Bronchopleural (BPF) and alveolar-pleural (APF) fistulas are frequently encountered in clinical practice with persistent air leaks that can lead to significant morbidity, prolonged hospital stay, and potentially increased mortality. BPF and APF are commonly related to pulmonary resections. Other etiologies include minimally invasive procedures (thoracentesis and image-guided biopsies), and spontaneous fistulas related to an underlying structural lung disease (e.g., emphysema) or a necrotizing pulmonary process (e.g., infection or malignancy). Radiofrequency ablation for pulmonary malignancies is an effective modality that can rarely lead to APF with persistent air leak. Surgical intervention remains the standard treatment option for BPF and APF. A variety of minimally invasive bronchoscopic approaches can be considered for selected nonsurgical candidates. The use of one-way endobronchial valves to manage severe and persistent air leaks can be considered a minimally invasive option in selected patients. The valves selectively block inspiratory airflow to a specific segmental or subsegmental airway but allow expiratory flow with drainage of air and secretions from the corresponding distal airways and lung parenchyma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bronchial Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchial Fistula / etiology
  • Bronchial Fistula / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation / adverse effects*
  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Treatment / instrumentation*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Fistula / etiology
  • Fistula / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pleural Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pleural Diseases / etiology
  • Pleural Diseases / surgery*
  • Pneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumothorax / pathology
  • Pneumothorax / surgery*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / surgery
  • Radiography
  • Subcutaneous Emphysema / diagnostic imaging
  • Subcutaneous Emphysema / pathology
  • Subcutaneous Emphysema / surgery*
  • Tracheal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Tracheal Diseases / etiology
  • Tracheal Diseases / surgery*