Bronchoscopic dilatation in the management of benign (non-transplant) tracheobronchial stenosis
Background: Tracheobronchial stenosis in the adult patient is a recognized postoperative complication of sleeve resection or lung transplantation, but also occurs in medical conditions such as sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, postintubation/tracheostomy or postradiation.
Aims: To assess the response of bronchoscopic dilatation in the management of benign (non-transplant) tracheobronchial stenosis and the longevity of symptomatic relief.
Methods: Eight patients underwent bronchoscopic dilatation for benign (non-transplant) tracheobronchial stenosis. The indications were post-tuberculous bronchostenosis (n = 3), post-tracheostomy/endotracheal intubation strictures (n = 3), postradiation bronchostenosis (n = 1) and narrowing of the tracheal lumen following a muscle flap surgery for tracheoesophageal fistula (n = 1).
Results: Dilatation alone was effective in the management of four patients (50%). Two patients had stent placement postdilatation, one patient had tracheal resection and primary anastomosis and one patient had laser ablation for restenosis followed by balloon dilatation. All patients had clinical improvement. One patient was successfully weaned off mechanical ventilation and extubated. There was no procedure-related mortality and all patients were alive and well at the time of reporting, with a mean duration since procedure of 123 ± 105 (range 8–340) weeks. The complications observed were granuloma formation at the site of laser excision and restenosis, each in one patient.
Conclusions: Bronchoscopic dilatation is a safe and effective modality in the initial assessment and management of benign tracheobronchial stenosis. Stent placement and Nd:YAG laser therapy complement a dilatation procedure in the combined bronchoscopic treatment of benign tracheobronchial stenosis. (Intern Med J 2001; 31: 512–516)