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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System
Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Minerva Pneumologica 2007 June;46(2):93-100
Endobronchial treatments of central airway obstructions
Hansen G., Sundset A.
Department of Thoracic Medicine and Interventional Centre Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway
Interventional pulmonology is now established as a branch of bronchology. The technological basis for the development of this new therapeutic branch of respiratory medicine, was the invention of Neodynium YAG laser. This type of endobronchial thermotherapy in turn led to renewed use of older techniques like electrocautery and cryotherapy. When malignant airway compression was the dominating feature of the lesion, these techniques proved inadequate, which to the construction of bronchial stents with radial forces counteracting the airway compression. Rigid bronchoscopy, which was almost abandoned when flexible bronchoscopy was introduced, has had a revival with the development of interventional pulmonology. With the increasing number of techniques available, and the demands on the interventionist to be properly trained in several techniques, highly specialized centres for interventional pulmonology have been developed, each of which treat a large number of patients. In this paper we discuss the different treatment modalities available, the selection of patients for treatment, and outline the future developments of interventional bronchoscopy.