Predictors of alveolar air leaks

David B. Loran, Kenneth J. Woodside, Robert J. Cerfolio, Joseph B. Zwischenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Persistent air leaks are caused by the failure of the postoperative lung to achieve a configuration that is physiologically amenable to healing. The raw pulmonary surface caused by the dissection of the fissure often is separated from the pleura, and the air leak fails to close. Additionally, higher air flow thorough an alveolar - pleural fistula seems to keep the fistula open. Other factors that interfere with wound healing, such as steroid use, diabetes, or malnutrition, can result in persistence of the leak. A thoracic surgeon can minimize the incidence of air leak through meticulous surgical technique and can identify patients in whom the balance of risks (Table 1) and benefits warrant operative intervention based on an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-488
Number of pages12
JournalChest Surgery Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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