The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical use of the Pleurx catheter and its outcomes in pts with recurrent, symptomatic pleural effusions. The size of the effusion and underlying malignancy may be predictive of the clinical outcome.
A retrospective chart review was conducted on pts who underwent Pleurx catheter placement for recurrent, symptomatic malignant pleural effusions (N=18) between January 2002 and February 2003.
Of the 18 patients, the primary malignancies included 7 breast cancer, 5 NSCLC, 2 Ovarian cancers, 1 renal cell cancer, 1 Waldenstrom’s lymphoma, 1 small bowel cancer, and 1 adenocarcinoma with unknown primary.7/18 (39%) pts achieved pleurodesis and had their Pleurx catheter removed. The average length of catheter placement was 38 ± 15 days with a median length of 44 days, and the average fluid drained was 1414 ± 813 cc with a median of 1500 cc of fluid. 2/7 (29%) had bilateral effusions and 1/7 (14%) had a postprocedure pneumothorax.11/18 (61%) pts did not achieve pleurodesis. The average fluid drained was 805 ± 450 cc with a median of 850 cc of fluid. 9/11 (82%) pts had bilateral effusions. 6/11 (55%) of these pts had a postprocedure pneumothorax.The placement of the Pleurx catheter in 7/18 (39%) pts was complicated by a postprocedure pneumothorax, with an average fluid drainage of 943 ± 761, compared to an average of 1135 ± 640 cc in those without a complication.CONCLUSION/CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Those achieving pleurodesis had larger pleural effusions at the time of the procedure and a lower incidence of complications. The size of the effusion may both predict successful pleurodesis and be protective. The presence of bilateral effusions prior to placement are negative predictors for achieving pleurodesis. The Pleurx catheter is emerging as an alternative management for recurrent, malignant effusions.
C.C. Wyckoff, None.