Autologus platelet gel for the management of persistent alveolar fistula after lung resection

C. Andreetti, M. Ibrahim, A. Ciccone, A. D'andrilli, C. Poggi, G. Maurizi, A. Pavan, E. A. Rendina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Postoperative alveolar fistula (AF) associated with pleural cavity (PC) is a serious complication and a therapeutic challenge in thoracic surgery. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of the use of the autologous platelet gel for the treatment of AF and PC. We treated a patient with post lung resection persistent alveolar fistula using a autologous platelet gel, a cellular compose produces at the Division of Immunohaematoligy and Trasfusion. The platelet gel-PRP (PlateletRich Plasma) is a biological material made of autologous platelets, extracted from a small amount of the patient's blood, centrifuged at 1100 g for 9 min. The PRP obtained was activated by addition of autologous thrombin and calcium chloride to form a matrix of fibrin (PRFM) thick. The patient presented important air leak after middle lobe wedge resection for solitary lung lesion with standard open decortication for important pleural adhesions post pleuritis. On postoperative day XIII the patient developed a thoracic empyema and consequently underwent a antibiotic pleural irrigation through the chest drainage based on the microbiological analysis of the pleural fluid. After a week we obtained the resolution of the empyema but a residual space remained and air leak persisted. We treated the patient with autologous platelet gel. We administer 7.5 mL of the autologous platelet gel across the chest drainage ever 72 hours for 3 times. After the third application we had the closure of the cavity and the cessation of air leak. Autologous platelet gel is easy to use, safe and inexpensive. It can be considered a valid therapeutic option in selected patients with a alveolar fistula and a lung partial re-expansion. The product consist of a significant amount of cellular components with healing anti-inflammatory an proregenerative properities that permit the body to heal tissue wounds faster and more efficiently. A sterile pleural cavity is fundamental conditions for the final success of the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-699
Number of pages5
JournalMinerva Chirurgica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Empyema
  • Fistula
  • Pleural cavity


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