Curved chest tube for drainage of malignant pleural effusion

H Ishikawa, H Satoh, Y T Yamashita, H Kamma, T Naito, M Ohtsuka, S Hasegawa
Respiratory Medicine 1998, 92 (4): 633-7
Thoracentesis with a chest tube insertion and drainage of large pleural effusion is widely performed in patients with malignant lung diseases. One potential problem with a conventional chest tube placement is occasional incomplete evacuation of effusion owing to inappropriate position of the tip where the drainage holes opened. We have developed a curved chest tube and evaluated the position of tip placement just after the placement and before removal on plain chest X-ray in 20 patients with massive pleural effusions due to lung cancer. In 15 of the 20 patients, the tip of the tube was successfully positioned at the paravertebral gutter in posterobasal with higher drainage efficacy compared with other patients whose tube tips happened to be positioned at other sites. There were no significant complications. This study suggested that the curved chest tube would be safe and useful in completing drainage of pleural effusion.


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