Pleural manometry: technique and clinical implications

Peter Doelken, John T Huggins, Nicholas J Pastis, Steven A Sahn
Chest 2004, 126 (6): 1764-9

INTRODUCTION: Pleural manometry during large-volume thoracentesis can prevent the development of excessively negative pleural pressures, which have been associated with re-expansion pulmonary edema; can diagnose an unexpandable lung; and can predict pleurodesis success. We currently perform pleural manometry simultaneously with both a vertical-column water manometer with an interposed resistive element, and a hemodynamic transducer connected to a standard physiologic system. We present the technique as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both systems in measuring pleural liquid pressures.

TECHNIQUE: A flexible thoracentesis catheter is inserted in the most dependent portion of the pleural effusion. The water manometer consists of two lengths of IV tubing connected through a 22-gauge needle inserted into an injection terminal. The system is connected to the zeroing port of the pressure transducer, and both are carefully purged of air. The electronic system is zeroed at the level the thoracentesis catheter is introduced into the patient. Measurements are performed initially and after each 250 mL of fluid that is withdrawn. ACCURACY OF THE WATER MANOMETER: Forty consecutive patients who underwent therapeutic thoracentesis had pressure measurements. Pleural fluid removed ranged from 50 to 4,200 mL (mean, 1,445 mL). A total of 291 pressure measurements were acquired and analyzed. Mean pleural liquid pressure obtained by the water manometer had a strong positive correlation with the values obtained by a standard physiologic system (r = 0.97, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: An overdamped water manometer is a valid method to measure mean pleural liquid pressure. Coughing invalidates pressure measurements with the water manometer; however, with the electronic method, periods of quiet breathing can be identified, allowing for the measurement of pleural pressure.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"