Tracheal or bronchial proximal stenoses occur as complications in 20-30% of lung cancers, resulting in a dramatic alteration in quality of life and poor prognosis. Bronchoscopic management of these obstructions is based on what are known as "thermal" techniques for intraluminal stenosis and/or placement of tracheal or bronchial prostheses for extrinsic compressions, leading to rapid symptom palliation in the vast majority of patients. This invasive treatment should only be used in cases of symptomatic obstructions and in the presence of viable bronchial tree and downstream parenchyma. This review aims to clarify 1) the available methods for assessing the characteristics of stenoses before treatment, 2) the various techniques available including their preferred indications, outcomes and complications, and 3) the integration of interventional bronchoscopy in the multidisciplinary management of proximal bronchial cancers and its synergistic effects with the other specific treatments (surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy).
Copyright ©ERS 2015.