Outpatient management of malignant pleural effusion using a tunneled pleural catheter: Preliminary experience
Seijo L, Campo A, Alcaide AB, Lacunza MM, Armendáriz AC, Zulueta JJ.
Inpatient management of malignant pleural effusion includes the placement of a conventional thoracostomy tube for drainage and talc slurry pleurodesis and/or a surgical approach consisting of video-assisted thoracoscopic talc insufflation.
Both techniques require prolonged hospital stays of up to 1 week. Unfortunately, life expectancy in patients with this disease does not usually exceed 6 months, and so the primary aim of any palliative intervention intended to improve quality of life should be to avoid hospital admissions and to relieve pain as far as possible. Of the few outpatient alternatives to hospital management the most frequently used is repeated thoracentesis.
We describe the outpatient management of malignant pleural effusion by placement of a tunneled pleural catheter in a patient with stage IIIB lung adenocarcinoma. In our opinion, the use of this catheter offers a viable alternative to conventional therapy and is better tolerated.