Background: At the present time, talc is the one of the
agents most commonly used for the production of a pleurodesis. However,
there have been several recent reports of acute pneumonitis developing
after the intrapleural administration of talc. The incidence of
pneumonitis has varied markedly from center to center.
Objective: To compare the physical characteristics of talc
used for the production of pleurodesis in various localities.
Design: Eight talc preparations (four from the United
States, and one each from Brazil, France, Spain, and Taiwan) were
analyzed for the distribution of the particle size and the type and
amount of impurities.
Measurements: The physical
characteristics of the talc specimens were determined using radiograph
diffraction and scanning electron microscopy.
The mean and median particle size varied by more than a factor of three
among the eight different talc preparations. In addition, the
impurities of the different talc preparations were quite varied.
Conclusions: We conclude that there is marked variation in
the physical characteristics of the talc preparations used
intrapleurally for the production of a pleurodesis. We speculate that
different incidences of acute pneumonitis at various centers after
intrapleural administration of talc may be due to differences in the
physical characteristics of the talc preparations used for