Argon plasma coagulation (APC) is a new method of non-contact electrocoagulation, using high frequency current by means of ionized argon gas (argon plasma). Recently, this technique has become available for flexible endoscopic delivery through special probes. Aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy, indications and the possible side effects of APC use in the palliative treatment of malignant airway obstructions and/or bleeding. Over a 24-month period, 47 patients underwent APC treatment for malignant neoplasms of the tracheobronchial system causing obstruction and/or recurrent bleeding. Immediate airway patency and haemostasis were obtained in 91.5% of cases (43/47). No complications or side effects caused by the treatment were observed. In two patients, the treatment allowed a radical surgical approach after induction chemotherapy. In all cases, APC proved to be highly effective and easy to perform. In our experience, APC has proven to be easy to perform, rapidly effective, safe and well tolerated by the patient, even after repeated application. This study highlights the value of endoscopic APC in the palliative management of tracheobronchial neoplasms.
- Argon plasma coagulation
- Interventional flexible bronchoscopy
- Lung cancer
- Palliative endoscopic therapy
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