PURPOSE: The role of the PleurX catheter (Cardinal Denver Biomedical, Golden, CO) in the management of recurrent non-malignant effusions is yet to be elucidated. In this study, we review the safety, efficacy, and durability of PleurX catheters for managing recurrent non-malignant pleural effusions that failed medical therapy, and describe a patient population who might benefit.
METHODS: From June 2006 to February 2007, seven PleurX catheters were placed in 7 symptomatic patients to manage non-malignant pleural effusions that failed medical therapy. 5 catheters were placed for severe congestive heart failure (3 with to severe CAD, and 2 with amyloid cardiomyopathy), and 2 in patients with hepatic hydrothorax.
RESULTS: No catheter-related complications were noted. Freedom from reintervention for effusion management was 100%, and all patients experienced dyspnea relief. One patient with amyloidosis expired 48 hours post procedure from cardiac arrest. Importantly, mechanical pleurodesis occurred in 2 patients at two and three months after catheter placement, and their catheters were subsequently removed. All other catheters remained functional up to present.
CONCLUSION: PleurX catheters are safe, effective, and durable solutions for recurrent non-malignant pleural effusions when medical therapy fails.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The PleurX catheter seem to provide an attractive alternative to patients with symptomatic recurrent non-malignant pleural effusions when current medical therapy fails.
DISCLOSURE: Rabih Bechara, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information