Bronchoscopic electrocautery is the application of high-frequency electrical current in the tracheobronchial tree. Tumors located in the major airways can be treated with various bronchoscopic techniques such as lasers (Nd:YAG, argon, co2), photodynamic therapy, brachytherapy, cryotherapy, and electrocautery. Electrocautery is an alternative treatment technique for immediate debulking of intraluminal tumor and has curative potential in patients with early-stage superficial strictly intraluminal lung cancer. The various methods of electrocautery may suit the personal experience and preference of every bronchoscopist, with either the rigid or flexible technique, and either the contact mode or the noncontact mode of argon plasma coagulation. Simple logistics and relatively inexpensive equipment and applicators improve the cost-effectiveness of electrocautery. With recognition of the population at risk, improved techniques for early tumor detection, and awareness of the potential benefit of bronchoscopic intervention in general, bronchoscopic electrocautery will increasingly become a standard part of the lung cancer care, both in a palliative and curative setting. This review article discusses background, technique, current status, and future prospects of bronchoscopic electrocautery.
Journal of Bronchology7:166-170, 2000.
BE, bronchoscopic electrocautery, PDT, photodynamic therapy
Address reprint requests to Dr. Tom G. Sutedja, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University Hospital Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.