Background: Lung abscesses are commonly treated with antibiotics. However, some patients fail to respond and may require percutaneous catheter drainage or surgical intervention. Bronchoscopic drainage (BD) of lung abscesses emerged as a therapeutic alternative in selected patients. Objective: To describe our experience with 15 patients who underwent BD at our center during 2006-2016. Methods: Patients underwent flexible bronchoscopy. Under fluoroscopic guidance, a pigtail catheter was introduced into the abscess cavity, its correct position being confirmed by the injection of contrast medium. The catheter remained in place for a few days and was flushed repeatedly with antibiotics. Results: Fifteen patients (9 males; median age 59 years) underwent 16 BD procedures. A pigtail catheter was successfully inserted and pus was drained from the abscess cavity in 13 procedures (81%) conducted in 12 patients, leading to rapid clinical improvement in 10 of them; resolution of fever occurred a median of 2 days (range <1-4) following pigtail insertion, and patients were discharged after 8 days (range 4-21). The pigtail catheter was extracted after a median of 4 days (range 2-6). Conclusion: BD of lung abscesses was achieved in 13 out of 16 procedures, leading to rapid improvement in the majority of patients. This work adds to the existing literature in establishing this procedure as an acceptable therapeutic alternative in selected patients who fail to respond to antibiotics, especially those with an airway obstruction or a fairly central lung abscess.

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