Endobronchial closure of bronchopleural fistula using Amplatzer device

Laura V. Klotz, Wolfgang Gesierich, Sabine Schott-Hildebrand, Rudolf A. Hatz, Michael Lindner

Abstract

Background: Bronchopleural fistulas (BPF) are a dreaded complication after lobectomy and pneumonectomy and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. BPF are treated by a range of surgical and endoscopic techniques. Amplatzer devices (ADs), normally used for the closure of cardiac defects, may enable the minimally invasive occlusion of these defects.
Methods: Three patients with BPF were treated with the bronchoscopic closure of BPF using AD. Under general anaesthesia, the fistula was located using bronchography and the self-expanding AD was placed under direct bronchoscopic and fluoroscopic guidance into the fistula. Bronchography was used to control the complete occlusion of the BPF.
Results: Three male patients with a mean age of 63 years (range, 53-73 years) were successfully treated by AD. Two BPF occurred after lobectomy of the right lower lobe for lung cancer and one after right pneumonectomy for lung cancer. In all patients the bronchoscopic procedure was successful and symptoms of empyema and BPF showed no recurrence over a median follow-up of 22 months.
Conclusions: Endobronchial closure of BPF using AD represents a safe, effective and promising method for postoperative BPF.