Background and objective: Conventionally, pulmonary resection with thoracoplasty is used to treat fibrocavernous complication of pulmonary tuberculosis. This operation is usually bloody, time-consuming with complicated postoperative course. To prevent massive blood loss and preserved pulmonary function, a more simplified operative procedure, cavernostomy combined intrathoracic muscle flap transposition was used and the outcome was evaluated in this study. Design: Retrospective review. Methodology: Between December 1989 and June 1996, a total of ten patients with fibrocavernous pulmonary tuberculosis were managed using cavernostomy combined with intrathoracic muscle flap transposition. Five of them had concomitant aspergilloma within the cavity while three had multiple drug resistant pulmonary tuberculosis. The muscle flap was used to plombage the cavity and reinforce the closure of bronchopleural fistula after cavernostomy. Results: Six postoperative complications occurred in five patients, including reformation of cavity (2), bronchopleurocutaneous fistulae (3), and postoperative bleeding (1). The success or failure of intrathoracic muscle flap transposition on patients with fibrocavernous tuberculosis was significantly correlated with the size of the cavity (194.0 ± 11.2 vs. 283.0 ± 44.6 cm3, P=0.016) and the number of bronchopleural fistulae (1.6 ± 0.4 vs. 4.0 ± 0.4, P = 0.008). There was no operative death and in long term follow-up, there was no recurrence of hemoptysis or deterioration of pulmonary function in the successful group of patients. Conclusions: Cavernostomy combined with intrathoracic muscle flap transposition can be used to treat well-selected fibrocavernous pulmonary tuberculosis patients, except on patients with large size cavity, multiple bronchopleural fistulae or multiple drug resistance tuberculosis. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
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