Biological glue is a natural adhesive generated by the interaction between fibrinogen (pre-glue) and thrombin to produce fibrin. The pre-glue is prepared from a single donor (to avoid the problems of pooled plasma) and stored as cryoprecipitate. Before being used it is thawed, dissolved in saline, and activated into an adhesive by the addition of topical thrombin. Biological glue was used prophylactically to prevent air leaks from bronchial suture lines and raw lung surfaces after pulmonary resections in six patients. In addition two new methods of using biological glue have been developed for the control of persisting air leaks. In selective intrabronchial tamponade the glue is instilled into the bronchial tree through a flexible bronchoscope, and in therapeutic pleurodesis it is instilled into the pleural cavity through a chest drainage tube. The air leaks were resolved in all cases. Seven procedures using selective intrabronchial tamponade were carried out in six patients. Four were immediately successful but three were not and required further interventions. Therapeutic pleurodesis alone was successfully carried out in one patient and as an adjunct to selective intrabronchial tamponade on two occasions. A thoracotomy was eventually needed in one of the seven patients.
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