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A Novel Therapeutic Approach Using the Combination of Vacuum-assisted Closure System and 1-Way Valve After Open-Window Thoracostomy in Treating Chronic Empyema Complicated by Multiple Bronchopleural Fistulae

Yang, Yu-Hui MD*; Mok, Lai Man MD*; Tai, Hao-Chih MD

Clinical Pulmonary Medicine: May 2019 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 82–86
doi: 10.1097/CPM.0000000000000306
Interventional Pulmonary Medicine

Empyema thoracis may be an ancient disease, but it still occurs in present-day thoracic practice. Despite medical and technical progression, pleural infection remains a major health care concern. When empyema thoracis is complicated by bronchopleural fistulae or repeated infections, it becomes a clinical challenge to physicians and can substantially lengthen and complicate a patient’s course of treatment. This case report presents a 48-year-old male patient with chronic empyema and multiple bronchopleural fistulae who was effectively treated by a combination of a 1-way valve and vacuum-assisted closure system through open-window thoracostomy. This combination successfully prevented air accumulation beneath the wound dressing, and therefore it was possible to maintain negative pressure, which is essential for the vacuum-assisted closure system to function.

*Department of Thoracic Surgery, MacKay Memorial Hospital

Department of Plastic Surgery, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan

Disclosure: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to: Yu-Hui Yang, MD, MacKay Memorial Hospital, No. 92, Sec. 2, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 10449, Taiwan. E-mail:

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