Purpose: In children, persistent air leaks can result from pulmonary infection or barotrauma.Management strategies include surgery, prolonged pleural drainage, ventilator manipulation, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). We report the use of endobronchial valve placement as an effective minimally invasive intervention for persistent air leaks in children. Methods: Children with refractory prolonged air leaks were evaluated by a multidisciplinary team (pediatric surgery, interventional pulmonology, pediatric intensive care, and thoracic surgery) for endobronchial valve placement. Flexible bronchoscopy was performed, and air leak location was isolated with balloon occlusion. Retrievable one-way endobronchial valves were placed. Results: Four children (16months to 16 years) had prolonged air leaks following necrotizing pneumonia (2), lobectomy (1), and pneumatocele (1). Patients had 1-4 valves placed. Average time to air leak resolution was 12 days (range 0-39). Average duration to chest tube removal was 25 days (range 7-39). All four children had complete resolution of air leaks. All were discharged from the hospital. None required additional surgical interventions. Conclusion: Endobronchial valve placement for prolonged air leaks owing to a variety of etiologies was effective in these children for treating air leaks, and their use may result in resolution of fistulae and avoidance of the morbidity of pulmonary surgery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health