Successful non-surgical management of pleuroparenchymal fistula following cervical intraspinal empyema

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Christopher Ull
Mirko Aach
Josef Reichert
Thomas Armin Schildhauer
Justyna Swol *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Justyna Swol | jswol@icloud.com

Abstract

Pulmonary infections are life-threatening complications in patients with spinal cord injuries. In particular, paraplegic patients are at risk if they are ventilator-dependent. This case history refers to a spinal cord injury with a complete sensorimotor tetraplegia below C2 caused by a septic scattering of an intraspinal empyema at C2-C5 and T3-T4. A right-sided purulent pneumonia led to a complex lung infection with the formation of a pleuroparenchymal fistula. The manuscript describes successful, considerate, non-surgical management with shortterm separate lung ventilation. Treatment aimed to achieve the best possible result without additional harm. A variety of surgical and conservative strategies for the treatment of pleuroparenchymal fistula (PPF) have been described with different degrees of success. We detail the non-surgical management of a persistent PPF with temporary separate lung ventilation (SLV) via a double-lumen tube (DLT) in combination with talc pleurodesis as an approach in patients who are unable to undergo surgical treatment.

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