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Acta Chir Belg. 2008 Mar-Apr;108(2):208-11.

Management of postpneumonic empyemas in children.

Author information

1
Lutfi Kirdar Kartal Training and Research Hospital, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Erenkoy, Istanbul, Turkey.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The optimal treatment of children with empyema remains controversial. The purpose of this clinical retrospective study was to assess different treatment options in the management of postpneumonic pediatric empyemas.

METHODS:

From April 1997 to October 2005, 111 consecutive children (57 boys and 54 girls) were managed for pleural empyema. The mean age was 7.07 years (range: 18 months-14 years). Patients were divided into 3 groups depending on the treatment received: group I, chest tube alone (n = 89); group II, chest tube with fibrinolytics (n = 22); group III, thoracotomy with decortication (n = 19, consisting of 9 patients of group I and 10 of group II with unsuccessful treatment results).

RESULTS:

Chest tube alone, chest tube with fibrinolytics, and thoracotomy with decortication had complete response rates of 89.9%, 54.5%, and 100%, respectively. The hospital stay was 11.46 +/- 3.79 days for group I, 9.08 +/- 2.07 days for group II, and 6.32 +/- 2.54 days for group III. There was no statistically significant difference between group I and group II with regard to hospital stay (P = 0.040). Mild pain occurred in 4 children of group II after streptokinase instillation. Only one atelectasis appeared in group III during the postoperative period.

CONCLUSION:

Chest tube drainage is a safe, effective primary treatment of postpneumonic pediatric empyema. In cases where it is insufficient, thoracotomy with decortication can be used successfully with low morbidity and mortality rates.

PMID:
18557145
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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