Gangrene of the lung: Treatment in two stages

Yael Refaely, Dov Weissberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background. Pulmonary gangrene is a rare complication of severe lung infection with devitalization of lung parenchyma and secondary infection. If untreated, gangrene of the lung leads to sepsis, multiple-organ failure, and death. Resection of all gangrenous tissue is mandatory and is lifesaving. Pleural empyema commonly accompanies gangrene of the lung; in its presence, dissection of hilar structures for resection can lead to mediastinitis or bronchopleural fistula and should be avoided. Methods. Three patients with pulmonary gangrene were treated in two stages: immediate fenestration first and then delayed resection of gangrenous lung in a clean field and immediate closure of the pleural window. Results. Two patients underwent pneumonectomy and 1 patient, lobectomy. All patients recovered without complications. Conclusions. Creation of a pleural window (fenestration) for 1 week enables safe and curative resection of a gangrenous lung or lobe in a clean field and in a patient in stable condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-973
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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