Endobronchial valve treatment for prolonged air leaks of the lung: a case series

Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Jan;91(1):270-3. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.07.093.


Purpose: An endobronchial valve developed for treatment of severe emphysema has characteristics favorable for bronchoscopic treatment of air leaks. We present the results of a consecutive case series treating complex alveolopleural fistula with valves.

Description: Patients with air leaks that persisted after treatment gave consent and compassionate use approval was obtained. Bronchoscopy with balloon occlusion was used to identify the airways to be treated. IBV Valves (Spiration, Redmond, WA) were placed after airway measurement.

Evaluation: During a 15-month period, 8 valve placement procedures were performed in 7 patients and all had improvement in the air leak. The median duration of air leakage was 4 weeks before and 1 day after treatment, with a mean of 4.5 days. Discharge within 2 to 3 days of the procedure occurred in 57% of the patients. A median of 3.5 valves (mode, 2.4) were used, and all valve removals were successful. There were no procedural or valve-related complications.

Conclusions: Removable endobronchial valves appear to be a safe and effective intervention for prolonged air leaks.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bronchi*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Compassionate Use Trials
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pleural Diseases / etiology
  • Pleural Diseases / therapy*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / etiology
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / therapy*
  • Pulmonary Surgical Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Respiratory Tract Fistula / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Fistula / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Fistula / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult