Background: Chest tube drainage (CTD) has indicated for the treatment of pneumothorax, hemothroax and after thoracic surgery. But, in the case of incomplete lung expansion and/or persistent air leak from CTD, medical or surgical thoracoscopy or, if that is unavailable, limited thoracotomy should be considered. We evaluate the efficacy of bronchoscopic injection of absolute ethanolamine to control persistent air leak in patients with CTD. Methods: Patients who had persistent or prolonged air leak from CTD were included consecutively. We directly injected 1.0 ml aliquots of ethanolamine into a subsegmental or its distal bronchus where is probably air leakage site, 1 to 20 times using injection needle through a fiberoptic bronchoscope. Results: 15 patients (all men) were enrolled. There were 14 spontaneous pneumothorax (5 idiopathic, 6 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 3 post-tuberculosis) and 1 empyema associated with broncho-pleural fistula in the study. Of 14 patients with ethanolamine injection therapies, five had previous surgical therapy, wedge resection for bullae, but the others didn`t have. Twelve were successfully treated by an ethanolamine injection therapy alone. But three (idiopathic, COPD and post-tuberculosis) were failed and followed by a surgery (2 cases) or pleurodesis (1 case). Minor complications such as fever, chest pain and transient pneumonic infiltrations occurred after the therapy. With successful, the time to discharge was about 3 days (median). Conclusions: Bronchoscopic ethanolamine injection therapy may be partially useful in controlling air leakage and reducing the hospital stay in patients with CTD.