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Endobronchial Stenting for Severe Airway Obstruction in Relapsing Polychondritis*

John L. Faul, MD; Stephen T. Kee, MD; Norman W. Rizk, MD, FCCP
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*From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Drs. Faul and Rizk) and the Department of Interventional Radiology (Dr. Kee), Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford CA.

Correspondence to: Norman W. Rizk, MD, FCCP, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford CA 94305; e-mail: rizk@forsythe.stanford.edu



Chest. 1999;116(3):825-827. doi:10.1378/chest.116.3.825
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Airway complications of relapsing polychondritis (RP), including tracheobronchial stenosis, can be fatal. This paper describes a life-saving technique (placement of multiple metallic endobronchial stents under conscious sedation) to prevent life-threatening airway closure in a 50-year-old woman with RP. Using fluoroscopic and bronchoscopic guidance, a tracheal stent and three endobronchial metallic stents were deployed in the central airways, with good functional outcome. There were no complications. In critical airway compromise caused by RP, the insertion of endobronchial stents can result in improved symptoms, pulmonary function, and a return to daily activities, without the use of tracheotomy and mechanical ventilation.

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