The global incidence of pneumothorax continues to rise. Prolonged air leak in pneumothorax patients is a clinical challenge associated with significant morbidity and healthcare costs. There is an ongoing search for an effective, minimally invasive and readily available/affordable therapy. This article reviewed the existing literature for the use of autologous blood patch in patients with a pneumothorax.
Intra-pleural instillation of autologous blood for pneumothorax has been advocated in numerous case reports, case series, retrospective and prospective studies, often with very promising results. However, high-quality randomised evidence remains lacking. There is no standard approach to the application and delivery method of autologous blood patch, and its underlying mechanism is debated.
Autologous blood patch for persistent air leak in pneumothorax is efficacious, readily available, cheap and well tolerated. However, there is a need for optimising the approach to autologous blood patch and establishing its efficacy and safety in controlled trials.