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Radiology. 1996 Apr;199(1):133-5.

Ambulatory sclerotherapy for malignant pleural effusions.

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Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



To determine the feasibility of ambulatory drainage and sclerotherapy in malignant pleural effusions.


Nineteen consecutive patients with symptomatic malignant pleural effusions were enrolled. None of the patients previously underwent sclerotherapy. A fluoroscopically placed 10.3-F catheter was connected to a closed gravity drainage bag system. Sclerotherapy was performed with bleomycin when daily drainage was less than 100 mL. Radiographic response was graded at 30 days. All patients were examined for symptomatic response and for complications.


The tubes remained in place 2-11 days (mean, 5.1 days). Total pleural drainage ranged from 950 to 3,925 mL (mean, 1,647 mL); all 19 patients had improvement of symptoms. At 30 days, 10 (53%) patients had a complete response, five (26%) had a partial response, and four (21%) had progressive disease.


Ambulatory sclerotherapy is a safe, viable alternative to conventional inpatient treatment of malignant pleural effusions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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