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Eur Respir J. 1999 Mar;13(3):514-8.

Empirical treatment with fibrinolysis and early surgery reduces the duration of hospitalization in pleural sepsis.

Author information

1
Dept of Medicine, National University Hospital, Singapore, Singapore.

Abstract

The efficacy of three different treatment protocols was compared: 1) simple chest tube drainage (Drain); 2) adjunctive intrapleural streptokinase (IP-SK); and 3) an aggressive empirical approach incorporating SK and early surgical drainage (SK+early OP) in patients with pleural empyema and high-risk parapneumonic effusions. This was a nonrandomized, prospective, controlled time series study of 82 consecutive patients with community-acquired empyema (n=68) and high-risk parapneumonic effusions (n=14). The following three treatment protocols were administered in sequence over 6 years: 1) Drain (n=29, chest catheter drainage); 2) IP-SK (n=23, adjunctive intrapleural fibrinolysis with 250,000 U x day(-1) SK); and 3) SK+early OP (n=30, early surgical drainage was offered to patients who failed to respond promptly following initial drainage plus SK). The average duration of hospital stay in the SK+early OP group was significantly shorter than in the Drain and IP-SK groups. The mortality rate was also significantly lower in the SK+early OP than the Drain groups (3 versus 24%). It was concluded that an empirical treatment strategy which combines adjunctive intrapleural fibrinolysis with early surgical intervention results in shorter hospital stays and may reduce mortality in patients with pleural sepsis.

PMID:
10232418
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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