Unidirectional endobronchial valves for management of persistent air-leaks: Results of a multicenter study

Alfonso Fiorelli, Antonio D'Andrilli, Roberto Cascone, Luisa Occhiati, Marco Anile, Daniele Diso, Francesco Cassiano, Camilla Poggi, Mohsen Ibrahim, Giacomo Cusumano, Alberto Terminella, Giuseppe Failla, Alba La Sala, Michela Bezzi, Margherita Innocenti, Elena Torricelli, Federico Venuta, Erino Angelo Rendina, Giovanni Vicidomini, Mario SantiniClaudio Andreetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: To evaluate the efficacy of Endo-Bronchial Valves in the management of persistent air-leaks (PALs) and the procedural cost. Methods: It was a retrospective multicenter study including consecutive patients with PALs for alveolar pleural fistula (APF) undergoing valve treatment. We assessed the efficacy and the cost of the procedure. Results: Seventy-four patients with persistent air leaks due to various etiologies were included in the analysis. In all cases the air leaks were severe and refractory to standard treatments. Sixty-seven (91%) patients underwent valve treatment obtaining a complete resolution of air-leaks in 59 (88%) patients; a reduction of air-leaks in 6 (9%); and no benefits in 2 (3%). The comparison of data before and after valve treatment showed a significant reduction of air-leak duration (16.2±8.8 versus 5.0±1.7 days; P<0.0001); chest tube removal (16.2±8.8 versus 7.3±2.7 days; P<0.0001); and length of hospital stay (LOS) (16.2±8.8 versus 9.7±2.8 days; P=0.004). Seven patients not undergoing valve treatment underwent pneumo-peritoneum with pleurodesis (n=6) or only pleurodesis (n=1). In only 1 (14%) patient, the chest drainage was removed 23 days later while the remaining 6 (86%) were discharged with a domiciliary chest drainage removed after 157±41 days. No significant difference was found in health cost before and after endobronchial valve (EBV) implant (P=0.3). Conclusions: Valve treatment for persistent air leaks is an effective procedure. The reduction of hospitalization costs related to early resolution of air-leaks could overcome the procedural cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6158-6167
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Alveolar-pleural fistula
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Persistent air-leak (PAL)
  • Zephyr endobronchial valves (Zephyr EBV)


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