Intrathoracic negative pressure therapy and/or endobronchial valve for pleural empyema minimal invasive management: case series of thirteen patients and review of the literature
r Ihnatsiuk, Aliaksand
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Introduction: Intrathoracic negative pressure therapy is an adjunct to standard methods of complex empyema management in debilitated patients. Nevertheless, the use of endoscopic one-way endobronchial valves to successfully close large bronchopleural fistulas in patients with advanced pleural empyema has been described in only a few case reports. Aim: To present our experience in managing complex pleural empyema using thoracostomy with intrathoracic negative pressure therapy and/or endobronchial valve implantation. Material and methods: We retrospectively analyzed data from 13 consecutive patients (11 men, mean age: 56 years, range: 38–80 years) who were treated for pleural empyema using thoracostomy with intrathoracic negative pressure therapy and/or endobronchial valve implantation between October 2015 and November 2017. Results: The control of empyema was satisfactory in 12 patients; however, 1 patient died from sepsis-related multiorgan failure despite complete cessation of air leak on day 9 after endobronchial valve implantation. The overall success rate for the final closure of the chest wall was 9/12 patients (75%): in 5 patients, the wall closed spontaneously, and in 4, the wall was closed using thoracomyoplasty. Conclusions: Thoracostomy with intrathoracic negative pressure therapy, endobronchial valve implantation with tube drainage, and a combination of the two could adequately manage patients with pleural empyema with or without a persistent air leakage fistula.