Indwelling Pleural Catheter Insertion Following Inefficient Thoracoscopic Decortication in Postpneumonic Empyema: Beneficial or Contraindicated?


Video assisted thoracic surgery in advanced stage postpneumonic empyema aims for thorough debridement and washout of the pleural space followed by an attempt to release the entrapped lung (decortication). When the latter isnt successful, and the patient is in a poor performance status, applying tube thoracostomy is the usual routine, to avoid conversion to thoracotomy and open decortication. Tube thoracostomy, however, is associated with complications necessitating further surgery, needs long term follow up and also entails quality of life distorting issues. To overcome these disadvantages, we instead inserted a PleurX® indwelling pleural catheter in four patients in the above situation. The method brought success (lung re-expansion and complete or partial pleurodesis) without the need for further surgery or quality of life problems in either patient. Although the use of the indwelling pleural catheter in infected pleural space is not recommended by manufacturers, we noted no complications.

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G. Egri, R. Krishnadas and P. Froeschle, "Indwelling Pleural Catheter Insertion Following Inefficient Thoracoscopic Decortication in Postpneumonic Empyema: Beneficial or Contraindicated?," Open Journal of Thoracic Surgery, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 123-126. doi: 10.4236/ojts.2013.34025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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