Intractable Pneumothorax Due to Bronchopleural Fistula after Radiofrequency Ablation of Lung Tumors

Jun Sakurai, Takao Hiraki, Takashi Mukai, Hidefumi Mimura, Kotaro Yasui, Hideo Gobara, Soichiro Hase, Hiroyasu Fujiwara, Toshihiro Iguchi, Nobuhisa Tajiri, Motoi Aoe, Yoshifumi Sano, Hiroshi Date, Susumu Kanazawa

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62 Citations (Scopus)


We describe two cases of intractable pneumothorax that were attributed to a bronchopleural fistula (BPF) after radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors. In both cases, radiofrequency ablation induced necrosis of the lung tissue between the pleural space and the bronchus. The bronchopleural fistula formed after sloughing of the necrotic tissue. Management of the bronchopleural fistula was quite challenging, requiring frequent treatments, including pleurodesis, endobronchial management, and/or surgical repair. In one of the patients, air leakage persisted despite these efforts, and the patient died of acute pneumonia 52 days after the procedure. Although it is rare, with an incidence of 0.6% (2/334) at our institution, intractable pneumothorax due to bronchopleural fistula should be recognized as a risk associated with radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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