Palliative treatment of life-threatening hemoptysis with silicone stent insertion in advanced lung cancer
Massive hemoptysis is a stressful and life-threatening event that can occur in lung cancer patients. The management of this event is usually challenging, and can involve surgery, embolization, and bronchoscopy. Unfortunately, while surgery can offer a definitive solution to hemoptysis, lung cancer patients are often excluded from this approach. On the other hand, bronchial arterial embolization rarely results in long-term control of bleeding. Endoscopy allows a skilled physician to perform mechanical tamponade or laser photocoagulation of bleeding lesions and preserve the main airways. While endoscopic stent placement is usually performed in order to treat stenosis, it has been occasionally employed to isolate and mechanically block the bleeding sites within the bronchial tree. We present the cases of two patients suffering from lung cancer-related life-threatening hemoptysis; both patients were successfully treated by positioning a silicone stent during emergency bronchoscopy. Subsequently, we present a concise review of the available literature.Â
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