COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Management of patients with "ex vacuo" pneumothorax after thoracentesis

Skorn Ponrartana, Jeanne M Laberge, Robert K Kerlan, Mark W Wilson, Roy L Gordon
Academic Radiology 2005, 12 (8): 980-6
16087092

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: To determine clinical outcome in patients who developed "ex vacuo" pneumothorax following thoracentesis and to assess the benefit of chest tube placement for this complication.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed records of 282 patients who underwent 437 thoracenteses at a single institution during a 6-year period. We identified 34 patients (12.1%) who developed a pneumothorax following 39 thoracenteses (8.8%) and then identified a subset of patients with pneumothorax "ex vacuo" defined as a moderate to large hydropneumothorax or small pneumothorax persisting for more than 3 days. Patient charts were reviewed to document the treatment strategy employed and subsequent clinical outcome, which included length of hospital stay, resolution of pneumothorax, reaccumulation of pleural effusion, and overall survival.

RESULTS: Ten patients developed "ex vacuo" pneumothroax following thoracentesis. None complained of significant worsening of symptoms following thoracentesis. Seven patients were treated by observation alone and 3 patients underwent tube thorocostomy. A decrease in size of the pneumothorax was observed in only 3 patients, none of whom had a chest tube placed. Effusion completely reaccumulated in 7 patients. All 10 patients died during the follow-up period; the mean survival was 157 days (range: 13-402 days). Survival among patients treated by observation was 191.4 days versus 71.7 days for patients receiving chest tubes.

CONCLUSION: Life expectancy for most patients who develop "ex vacuo" pneumothorax following therapeutic thoracentesis is short (<6 months). Chest tube placement is not necessary in asymptomatic patients and is unlikely to provide clinical benefit.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

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

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
16087092
×

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"