Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if a small pneumothorax would influence the pleurodesis resulting from talc instillation.
Methods: Sixty rabbits received an intrapleural injection of 400 mg/kg talc slurry. One half also received 10 mL of air intrapleurally after the talc. Ten rabbits in each group were killed 2, 14, and 28 days after instillation.
Results: Two days after the injection, the mean volume of air in the animals that had received the air was 7.5±0.4 mL. There was no air present in any other rabbits. The volume of pleural fluid and the pleural fluid glucose, protein, cell count, and differential were similar in both groups on day 2, while the LDH level was significantly higher in the air group (p<0.05). The degree of gross adhesions and microscopic fibrosis was similar in both groups and increased with time.
Conclusions: A small pneumothorax does not decrease the efficacy of talc pleurodesis in our experimental model. These results suggest that the presence of a small amount of intrapleural air is not a contraindication to talc pleurodesis in humans.