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Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2008 Jan-Feb;31(1):135-41. Epub 2007 Oct 18.

Empyema and effusion: outcome of image-guided small-bore catheter drainage.

Author information

1
Department of Academic Radiology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland.

Abstract

Empyema and complicated pleural effusion represent common medical problems. Current treatment options are multiple. The purpose of this study was to access the outcome of image-guided, small-bore catheter drainage of empyema and effusion. We evaluated 93 small-bore catheters in 82 patients with pleural effusion (n = 30) or empyema (n = 52), over a 2-year period. Image guidance was with ultrasound (US; n = 56) and CT (n = 37). All patients were followed clinically, with catheter dwell times, catheter outcome, pleural fluid outcome, reinsertion rates, and need for urokinase or surgery recorded. Ninety-three small-bore chest drains (mean=10.2 Fr; range, 8.2-12.2 Fr) were inserted, with an average dwell time of 7.81 days for empyemas and 7.14 days for effusions (p > 0.05). Elective removal rates (73% empyema vs 86% effusions) and dislodgement rates (12% empyema vs 13% effusions) were similar for both groups. Eight percent of catheters became blocked and 17% necessitated reinsertion in empyemas, with no catheters blocked or requiring reinsertion in effusions (p < 0.05). Thirty-two patients (51%) required urokinase in the empyema group, versus 2 patients (6%) in the effusion group (p < 0.05). All treatment failures, requiring surgery, occurred in the empyema group (19%; n = 12; p < 0.05). In conclusion, noninfected pleural collections are adequately treated with small-bore catheters, however, empyemas have a failure rate of 19%. The threshold for using urokinase and larger-bore catheters should be low in empyema.

PMID:
17943347
DOI:
10.1007/s00270-007-9197-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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