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Ann Surg. 2012 Mar;255(3):440-5. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31824723f4.

Thoracoscopic pleurodesis for primary spontaneous pneumothorax with high recurrence risk: a prospective randomized trial.

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Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



To compare the efficacy and safety between apical pleurectomy and pleural abrasion with minocycline in primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) with high recurrence risk.


The optimal thoracoscopic pleurodesis procedure for PSP with high recurrence risk remains controversial.


Between January 2006 and May 2009, a total of 369 patients with spontaneous pneumothorax were treated by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. After stapled bullectomy, 160 patients with no identifiable bleb or multiple blebs (≥3) were randomly chosen to undergo apical pleurectomy (pleurectomy group, 80 patients) or pleural abrasion with minocycline (abrasion/minocycline group, 80 patients).


Patients in the pleurectomy group had a longer operation duration (mean, 81.4 minutes vs 55.8 minutes, P < 0.001), a greater amount of operation bleeding (mean, 29.4 mL vs 13.2 mL, P = 0.025), and a greater amount of postoperative chest drainage (mean, 287.4 mL vs 195.8 mL, P = 0.040). Patients in the abrasion/minocycline group had a higher intensity of chest pain and required more frequent meperidine injections. Hemothorax occurred in 3 pleurectomy patients (3.8%). The short-term results showed that the 2 groups had comparable durations of postoperative chest drainage, durations of postoperative hospital stay, and complication rates. After a mean follow-up of 26.1 months, recurrent ipsilateral pneumothorax occurred in 3 patients (3.8%) in the pleurectomy group and 3 patients (3.8%) in the abrasion/minocycline group. Postoperative long-term residual chest pain and pulmonary function were comparable in both groups.


: Pleural abrasion with minocycline pleurodesis is as effective as apical pleurectomy and either technique is appropriate for treating PSP patients with high recurrence risk. This trial was registered at (ID: NCT00270751).

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