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ABSTRACT: Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of the PleurX catheter in the management of recurrent non-malignant pleural effusions. Methods: All subjects who underwent a PleurX catheter placement between 2003 and 2009 were evaluated. General demographic data, time to pleurodesis, complications, and a satisfaction questionnaire were collected. The subjects were divided into two groups. Group I included patients with non-malignant effusions and group II included patients with malignant effusions. Results: A total of 64 subjects were included in the final data analysis. A total of 23 subjects were included in group I and 41 subjects were included in group II. The diagnoses in group I included congestive heart failure (CHF; 13), hepatic hydrothorax (8), traumatic bloody (1), and idiopathic exudative (1). The diagnoses in group II included lung cancer (20), breast cancer (11), colon cancer (5), prostate cancer (2), B-cell lymphoma (2), and mesothelioma (1). The time to pleurodesis was 36 ± 12 days for group II compared to 110.8 ± 41 days for group I (p < 0.0001). The mean satisfaction score was similar in both groups (3.8 ± 0.4). Time to pleurodesis was significantly shorter in hepatic hydrothorax compared to CHF (73.6 ± 9 days vs. 113 ± 36 days, p = 0.006). There was one case of exit site infection in a patient with hepatic hydrothorax. Among subjects who were alive at 3 months after the catheter removal, none had recurrence of their pleural effusion. Conclusion: The Denver catheter was effective in achieving pleurodesis in non-malignant pleural effusions. The complication rate was low and patient satisfaction was high.
Chronic Respiratory Disease 06/2011; 8(3):185-91. · 2.31 Impact Factor