From electrocautery, balloon dilatation, neodymium-doped:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser to argon plasma coagulation and cryotherapy

Ashutosh Sachdeva, Edward M. Pickering, Hans J. Lee


Over the past decade, there has been significant advancement in the development/application of therapeutics in thoracic diseases. Ablation methods using heat or cold energy in the airway is safe and effective for treating complex airway disorders including malignant and non-malignant central airway obstruction (CAO) without limiting the impact of future definitive therapy. Timely and efficient use of endobronchial ablative therapies combined with mechanical debridement or stent placement results in immediate relief of dyspnea for CAO. Therapeutic modalities reviewed in this article including electrocautery, balloon dilation (BD), neodymium-doped:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser, argon plasma coagulation (APC), and cryotherapy are often combined to achieve the desired results. This review aims to provide a clinically oriented review of these technologies in the modern era of interventional pulmonology (IP).