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J Indian Med Assoc. 2008 Sep;106(9):589-90, 592.

A study of comparison of efficacy and safety of talc and povidone iodine for pleurodesis of malignant pleural effusions.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata 700014.


Pleurodesis is considered as the best palliative therapy for the treatment of symptomatic malignant pleural effusion. Several chemical agents are used for this purpose with variable efficacy and safety. The present study is to compare the effectiveness and safety of talc and povidone iodine as chemical agents for pleurodesis in patients of malignant pleural effusion. Fifty-two patients with malignant pleural effusion admitted in the department of chest of Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata were selected for the study. Pleurodesis with povidone iodine and talc in slurry was done in 28 and 24 patients respectively. Efficacy and safety of these agents were assessed during a follow-up period of six months. Among the 52 patients, 42 were males and 10 females. Age ranged from 40 to 64 years with mean age of 56.4 years. In 41 patients effusion was secondary to bronchogemic carcinoma, 8 had effusion secondary to breast carcinoma, 1 had effusion due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, while primary malignancy was unknown in 2 patients. Among the 24 patients treated with talc pleurodesis, 20 had bronchogenic carcinoma, 3 had breast carcinoma and 1 had unknown primary malignancy. Out of the 28 patients treated with povidone iodine pleurodesis, bronchogenic carcinoma was present in 21 patients, breast carcinoma in 5 patients, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and unknown primary malignancy was present in 1 patient each. Pleurodesis with talc showed complete success in 19 patients, partial success in 3 patients and failure in 2 patients. Pleurodesis with povidone iodine showed complete response in 24 patients, partial response in 1 patient and failure in 3 patients. Chest pain occurred in 4 patients of talc pleurodesis and 5 patients of povidone iodine pleurodesis, 3 patients of each group had fever. There was no death in the peripleurodesis period. During the 6 months follow-up, 12 patients of talc pleurodesis and 18 patients of povidone iodine pleurodesis died. Talc is slurry and povidone iodine is equally effective and safe pleurodesing agent for symptomatic malignant pleural effusion. However povidone iodine can be preferred option because of easy availability and low cost.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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