Initial Experience with Autologous Blood Patch Pleurodesis for Persistent Air Leak in Children: Case Report

Date of submission: 06-05-2020 | Date of acceptance: 11-10-2020 | Published: 03-01-2021


  • Bárbara Mota Pediatrics Department, Centro Materno-Infantil, Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João, Porto, Portugal
  • Sofia Vasconcelos-Castro Department of Pediatric Surgery, Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João, Porto, Portugal
  • Paulo Ribeiro Santos Pediatrics Department, Unidade de Vila Real, Centro Hospitalar de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
  • João Maciel Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Hospital de São João, Porto, Portugal
  • Miguel Soares-Oliveira Department of Pediatric Surgery, Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João, Porto, Portugal


Primary spontaneous pneumothorax is commonly encountered in hospital practice. Occasionally, despite adequate treatment, these pneumothoraces may persist or recur. Should the leak persist over 5 days it is defined as persistent air leak which is associated with increased morbidity. Most cases of persistent air leak are successfully managed with conservative methods, however, sometimes, more invasive procedures are required. Current guidelines for treatment are primarily surgical. However, for patients who have had a failure of surgical management, pleurodesis with a variety of substances is another option, including autologous blood patch. This procedure works through a patch effect in which coagulated blood seals the air leak. It is a simple, painless, inexpensive, and effective treatment, extensively studied in the adult population but unfrequently used in pediatric population. This paper serves as documentation of one case report of one successfully treated persistent air leak with autologous blood patch in one adolescent patient.


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Case reports