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Zentralbl Chir. 2012 Jun;137(3):248-56. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1284047. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

[Pleural empyema and lung abscess: current treatment options].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Thoraxzentrum Ruhrgebiet, Klinik für Thoraxchirurgie, Herne, Deutschland. e.hecker@evk-herne.de


Parapneumonic pleural empyema has been classified into different stages and classes. While the American Thoracic Society (ATS) classification is based on the natural course of the disease, Light has classified pleural empyema according to the radiological, physical and biochemical characteristics, and the American College of Chest Physician (ACCP) has categorised the patients with pleural empyema according to the risk of a poor outcome. According to this classification the management of the pleural empyema is based on the stage of the disease. Therapeutic strategies include chest tube, chest tube with fibrinolysis, thoracoscopic debridement and decortication in open or minimally invasive techniques. Primary lung abscesses develop in previously healthy lung parenchyma and are caused by aspiration. In addition, abscess formation can occur without aspiration, and important differences relate to community-acquired, nosocomial abscesses and those in the immunosuppressed host. 90 % of all lung abscesses can be cured with antibiotic treatment alone, 10 % have to be treated with an interventional catheter or chest tubes and only 1 % require thoracic surgery because of complications independent of the former conservative or interventional treatment strategies.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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