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Pneumologia. 2013 Jan-Mar;62(1):26-9.

Open window thoracostomy for the treatment of bronchopleural cutaneous fistula -- case report.

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Medicina Formoaie, Iuliu Hotieganu, Cluj-Nopoco, Catedre de Pneumologie.


Pleural empyema and bronchopleural fistula (the communication between the pleural space and the airways) are early or late complications of various diseases. We present the case of a 29-year-old patient operated for cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis and giant caseoma at the age of seven, who also had fibrocavitary pulmonary tuberculosis positive for mycobacterium tuberculosis at the age of 19. The patient presented with low grade fever, chills, sweating, cough with mucopurulentsputum, dyspnea on mild exertion, perioral cyanosis, cyanosis of the limbs at exertion, anorexia, weight loss and skin suppuration on the left side of thorax. The diagnosis of chronic pulmonary suppuration, the failure of conservative therapy (multiple antibiotic treatments in the last three years), the presence and size of the bronchopleural cutaneous fistula, thepatient's surgical history (presence of "lifesaving"sutures), as well as his immunocompromised state required that conservative medical treatment (antibiotics, antimycotics and supportive medication for six months) be associated with surgery. An open window thoracostomy was selected over segmentectomy or lobectomy due to their associated risks caused by anatomic changes in the large vessels. The open window thoracostomy should not be forgotten or abandoned as it may be the only approach that ensures patient survival and the effective management of the residual cavity and chronicsuppuration in selected cases.

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