Octreotide treatment of chylothorax in pediatric patients following cardiothoracic surgery

Lindsay Caverly, Christopher M Rausch, Eduardo da Cruz, Jon Kaufman
Congenital Heart Disease 2010, 5 (6): 573-8

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the efficacy and safety of octreotide treatment of persistent chylothorax in pediatric patients following cardiothoracic surgery.

DESIGN: Retrospective chart review of patients admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit of a tertiary care center over a 10-year period (1998-2008). Nineteen patients were identified who underwent treatment with octreotide for persistent chylothorax following cardiothoracic surgery. We analyzed data regarding age, sex, type of cardiac lesion and surgical procedure, postoperative day octreotide therapy was initiated, maximum drainage prior to and during octreotide therapy, dose range of octreotide, days to resolution, and complications.

RESULTS: Twelve patients (63%) experienced resolution of their chylothorax during octreotide treatment. Fourteen patients (74%) demonstrated a decrease in the peak effusion drainage rate following initiation of octreotide therapy, though two of these patients ultimately required further surgical intervention to achieve resolution. Octreotide treatment was associated with unchanged or increased effusion drainage rate in four patients (21%). Patients that responded to octreotide had a lower mean maximal drainage prior to octreotide initiation. Two patients experienced side effects temporally associated with octreotide therapy (transient hypoglycemia and diarrhea). No serious side effects were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Octreotide treatment of chylothorax in combination with dietary modifications in pediatric patients following cardiothoracic surgery resulted in a reduction of peak effusion drainage and eventual resolution in the majority of cases with few and transient side effects.

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