Original Article

The role of BioGlue in thoracic surgery: a systematic review

Diamantis I. Tsilimigras, Aspasia Antonopoulou, Ioannis Ntanasis-Stathopoulos, Davide Patrini, Kostas Papagiannopoulos, David Lawrence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos


Background: BioGlue is a commonly used sealant in thoracic surgery. Prolonged air leak and presence of bronchopleural fistulae (BPF) are often encountered in clinical practice. We therefore, investigated the role and the efficacy of BioGlue in these scenarios.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted by searching Medline [1966–2016] and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) [1999–2016] along with reference lists of the included studies. Included studies reported on thoracic surgery operations and use of BioGlue in thoracic surgical procedures, whereas excluded studies met at least one of the following criteria: non-English language studies, non-human population, studies on surgical specialties other than Thoracic surgery, reviews and meta-analyses and sealants other than BioGlue.
Results: Twelve studies with a total number of 194 patients were included. Amongst them, 178 were treated for alveolar air leaks (AAL), 14 for BPF and 2 for lymphatic leaks. BioGlue was utilized at the time of initial operation in 172 (96.7%) patients for AAL, while at secondary intervention in 13 (92.9%) for BPF and 1 (50%) for lymphatic leak. In terms of AAL, only 2 out of 4 studies showed statistically significant reduction in duration of air leak, duration of intercostal drainage and length of stay (LOS) when BioGlue was applied. No complications were encountered after using BioGlue in sealing BPF, apart from the re-application of BioGlue in 3 cases.
Conclusions: Although BioGlue has been shown to be efficient in treating AAL, it should be used with caution against BPF, despite encouraging preliminary results. Potential adverse effects must always be taken into consideration. Future randomized controlled trials are warranted in an attempt to establish its benefit in current clinical practice.

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