Seijo L, Campo A, Alcaide AB, Lacunza MM, Armendariz AC, Zulueta JJ. Outpatient management of malignant pleural effusion using a tunneled pleural catheter: Preliminary experience. Arch Bronconeumol 2006 Dec;42(12):660-662.
Inpatient management of malignant pleural effusion
includes the placement of a conventional thoracostomy tube
for drainage and talc slurry pleurodesis and/or a surgical
approach consisting of video-assisted thoracoscopic talc
insufflation. Both techniques require prolonged hospital
stays of up to 1 week. Unfortunately, life expectancy in
patients with this disease does not usually exceed 6 months,
and so the primary aim of any palliative intervention
intended to improve quality of life should be to avoid
hospital admissions and to relieve pain as far as possible.
Of the few outpatient alternatives to hospital management
the most frequently used is repeated thoracentesis. We
describe the outpatient management of malignant pleural
effusion by placement of a tunneled pleural catheter in a
patient with stage IIIB lung adenocarcinoma. In our
opinion, the use of this catheter offers a viable alternative to
conventional therapy and is better tolerated.