Intrathoracic Muscle Flap Transposition for the Management of Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis

Malke Asaad, Amelia Van Handel, Arya A. Akhavan, Tony T.C. Huang, Aashish Rajesh, Mark A. Allen, K. Robert Shen, Basel Sharaf, Steven L. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The management of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis remains a challenge for thoracic and reconstructive surgeons. Different management options have been proposed with no consensus regarding the best treatment modality. The goal of this study is to report our experience with the use of intrathoracic muscle flaps for the management of pulmonary aspergillosis. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients who underwent intrathoracic muscle flap transposition for the management of pulmonary aspergillosis between 1990 and 2010. Demographics, surgical characteristics, and treatment outcomes were collected and analyzed. Results: A total of 39 patients who underwent 48 muscle flaps were identified. The majority were classified as ASA 3 (n=30, 77%) or ASA 4 (n=8, 21%). Serratus anterior was the most common flap used (n=34), followed by latissimus dorsi (n=6) and pectoralis major (n=5). Flap loss was encountered in three (8%) patients (2 partial, 1 total). Bronchopleural fistula and empyema comprised the two most common intrathoracic complications (26%, 29% respectively). Median follow-up was 33 months (range, 0–216). Successful treatment was achieved in 77% of patients, while operative mortality was 23%. Conclusion: The use of intrathoracic muscle flaps can be a helpful adjunct to surgical resection in the treatment of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis with low rates of flap loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1815-1824
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Aspergillosis
  • Muscle flap
  • Plastic
  • Reconstruction
  • Thoracic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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