The use of electrocautery as the primary ablation modality for malignant and benign airway obstruction.
BACKGROUND: Laser has been the main ablative modality in the airways, but a growing experience with endobronchial electrocautery suggests a comparable efficacy and safety profile. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of electrocautery as the primary heat therapy for malignant and benign airway obstruction. METHODS: A retrospective review of all patients undergoing endobronchial electrocautery, alone or in combination with other airway tools, at Duke University Medical Center between April 2004 and November 2009. Data on efficacy (luminal patency, symptomatic, radiographic, or physiologic improvement) and safety (complication rate) were collected. RESULTS: Ninety-four patients underwent 117 procedures with endobronchial electrocautery for endobronchial malignant and nonmalignant disease. Endoscopic improvement was seen in 94% of cases. Seventy-one percent of patients reported symptomatic improvement. Radiographic studies demonstrated luminal improvement in 78% of patients on chest computed tomography, improved aeration on chest computed tomography and chest x-ray in 63% and 43% of patients, respectively. The rate of major complications was 0.8%, whereas minor complications occurred in 6.8% of cases. There was no perioperative mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Endobronchial electrocautery is effective and safe when used as an ablative modality in malignant and benign airway obstruction and has a comparable profile to laser with the advantage of lower cost.
Wahidi, MM; Unroe, MA; Adlakha, N; Beyea, M; Shofer, SL
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