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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 2009 June;48(2):195-202

language: English

Rapid desobstruction: laser and electrocautery

Herth F. J. F.

Department of Pneumology and Critical Care Medicine Thoraxklinik, University of Heidelberg Heidelberg, Germany


Minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in medicine have been applied for a more selective and tailored approach to reduce patients’ morbidity and mortality. The efficacy of interventional pulmonology for palliation of patients with central airways obstruction has been established and its curative potential for intralesional treatment of early cancer has raised great interest in current screening programmes. This is due to the fact that surgical resection and systemic nodal dissection as the gold standard is relatively morbid and risky, especially when dealing with individuals with limited functional reserves due to smoking-related comorbidities, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In the palliative setting of alleviating central airway obstruction, laser resection, electrocautery and argon plasma coagulation are techniques that can provide immediate relief, in contrast to cryotherapy, brachytherapy and photodynamic therapy with delayed effects. In the article the different techniques wilb be discussed.

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