Delayed development of pneumothorax after pulmonary radiofrequency ablation

Clasen, Stephan; Kettenbach, Joachim; Kosan, Bora; Aebert, Hermann; Schernthaner, Melanie; Kröber, Stefan-Martin; Bömches, Andrea; Claussen, Claus D; Pereira, Philippe L (2009). Delayed development of pneumothorax after pulmonary radiofrequency ablation. Cardiovascular and interventional radiology, 32(3), pp. 484-90. New York, N.Y.: Springer 10.1007/s00270-008-9489-z

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Acute pneumothorax is a frequent complication after percutaneous pulmonary radiofrequency (RF) ablation. In this study we present three cases showing delayed development of pneumothorax after pulmonary RF ablation in 34 patients. Our purpose is to draw attention to this delayed complication and to propose a possible approach to avoid this major complication. These three cases occurred subsequent to 44 CT-guided pulmonary RF ablation procedures (6.8%) using either internally cooled or multitined expandable RF electrodes. In two patients, the pneumothorax, being initially absent at the end of the intervention, developed without symptoms. One of these patients required chest drain placement 32 h after RF ablation, and in the second patient therapy remained conservative. In the third patient, a slight pneumothorax at the end of the intervention gradually increased and led into tension pneumothorax 5 days after ablation procedure. Underlying bronchopleural fistula along the coagulated former electrode track was diagnosed in two patients. In conclusion, delayed development of pneumothorax after pulmonary RF ablation can occur and is probably due to underlying bronchopleural fistula, potentially leading to tension pneumothorax. Patients and interventionalists should be prepared for delayed onset of this complication, and extensive track ablation following pulmonary RF ablation should be avoided.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology

UniBE Contributor:

Kettenbach, Joachim








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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:13

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:22

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URI: (FactScience: 196893)

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