Persistent air leak successfully treated with endobronchial valves and digital drainage system

Thomas James Altree, Hubertus Jersmann, Phan Nguyen

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A 62-year old man with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease developed a persistent air leak from an iatrogenic pneumothorax following Computed Tomography-guided core biopsy of a pulmonary nodule. The pneumothorax was treated with an 8.5F intercostal catheter, which was then replaced by a 28F thoracostomy tube after development of significant subcutaneous emphysema and a tension pneumothorax. The air leak showed no improvement until endobronchial valve (EBV) insertion guided by objective flow data from a digital drainage system (DDS). The air leak subsequently reduced with −20 cmH2O suction from the DDS, and the thoracostomy tube was removed once the objective measured flow rate had sufficiently diminished. The combination of EBV insertion and suction from the DDS successfully treated the persistent air leak, with timing of thoracostomy tube removal guided by DDS flow data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00368
Number of pages3
JournalRespirology Case Reports
Issue number8
Early online date14 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bronchoscopy
  • digital chest drainage system
  • endobronchial valve
  • persistent air leak
  • pneumothorax


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