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Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci. 2012 Jul-Sep;54(3):165-8.

Role of endobronchial electrocautery in management of neoplastic central airway obstruction: initial experience with seven cases.

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Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.



Central airway obstruction (CAO) due to malignant and benign conditions is common. Tumour ablation by various techniques helps effective palliation of symptoms in such patients. Tumour ablation using endobronchial electrocautery (EBEC) with flexible bronchoscope (FB) is an established procedure. However, there is paucity of data from India on this topic.


EBEC was performed in seven patients with CAO; six of these patients had malignant (non-small cell carcinoma) and one had benign aetiology (tracheal fibro-epithelial polyp) as the cause of CAO. Pre- and post-procedure assessment was done with the help of Speiser's symptomatic scoring.


Mean age of the patients was 52.9 +/- 7.0 years; there were five males. All the patients had symptomatic relief after the procedure; in five of them the improvement in symptom scores was significant. No major complication was encountered in any patient.


EBEC can be a safe, effective and cost-effective tool for palliation in patients with benign or malignant CAO. It is especially beneficial for centres where cost of bronchoscopic laser and cryotherapy is prohibitive.

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