Permanent tunneled drainage for malignant ascites: Initial experience with the PleurX(®) catheter
The most common treatment in recurrent malignant ascites is generally temporary peritoneal drainage. We present our experience in placing permanent tunneled catheters in a series of patients and analyze the safety and efficacy of the treatment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
We used total aseptic measures in the interventional ultrasonography suite to place permanent tunneled catheters in 10 patients under ultrasonographic guidance and local anesthesia.
The catheters remained patent for a median of 52 days in the nine patients who died. In one of these, the catheter was withdrawn while still patent due to generalized sepsis. At the end of the study, one patient still had a permeable catheter 124 days after placement.
Although the low number of patients in our series precludes generalizations, tunneled peritoneal catheters seem to be a safe and effective minimally invasive treatment for malignant ascites in terminal oncologic patients.
This approach facilitates the draining of the ascites at home, obviating the need for repeated hospital visits and punctures and the risks involved therein. Nevertheless, further experience and prospective randomized trials are necessary.
CITATION Radiologia. 2010 November - December;52(6):541-545