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Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1994 Aug;42(4):233-6.

Treatment of postoperative chylothorax by pleurodesis with the streptococcal preparation OK-432.

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Department of Surgery, Kanazawa University School of Medicine, Japan.


Of the 2877 patients who underwent chest surgery at our department during the 20-year period between 1973 and 1992, 9 (0.3%) developed postoperative chylothorax. The underlying disease included primary lung cancer in 5 patients, pulmonary metastasis in 1, invasive thymoma in 2, and neuroblastoma of the posterior mediastinum in 1. For the treatment of chylothorax, the thoracic duct was ligated in 2 patients with a high volume of chylous leakage. In 6 patients treated conservatively, early pleurodesis was attained by injecting 1 to 5 doses (mean: 2.2 doses) of the streptoccal preparation OK-432 intrathoracically; favorable results were achieved. In 1 patient, the diagnosis of chylothorax was delayed because of postoperative pyothorax. This patient developed nutritional deficiency, compromised immunity, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), which led to death before the chylothorax could be treated. In principle, postoperative chylothorax should be treated conservatively. Favorable results can be expected with the intrathoracic injection of OK-432 beginning at the early postoperative period to achieve pleurodesis, combined with the prevention of nutritional deficiency, electrolyte imbalance, and infection.

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