Bronchopleural fistula

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A bronchopleural fistula (BPF) is a fistula between the pleural space and the lung. It can develop following Pneumonectomy, post traumatically, or with certain types of infection.[1] It may also develop when large airways are in communication with the pleural space following a large pneumothorax or other loss of pleural negative pressure, especially during positive pressure mechanical ventilation.[2] On imaging, the diagnosis is suspected indirectly on radiograph. Increased gas in the pneumonectomy operative bed, or new gas within a loculated effusion are highly suggestive of the diagnosis. Infectious causes include tuberculosis, Actinomyces israelii, Nocardia, and Blastomyces dermatitidis. Malignancy and trauma can also result in the abnormal communication.[3]


  1. ^ Varoli F (1998) Endoscopic treatment of bronchopleural fistulas. Annals of Thoracic Surgery 65, 807-9
  2. ^ Kempainen, RR; Pierson, DJ (December 2001). "Persistent air leaks in patients receiving mechanical ventilation". Seminars in respiratory and critical care medicine. 22 (6): 675–84. doi:10.1055/s-2001-18804. PMID 16088712.
  3. ^ Lois, M; Noppen, M (December 2005). "Bronchopleural fistulas: an overview of the problem with special focus on endoscopic management". Chest. 128 (6): 3955–65. doi:10.1378/chest.128.6.3955. PMID 16354867.

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