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Use of a small bore pleural catheter in the managemen of patients with malignant pleural effusion



Malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) can produce significant respiratory symptoms and decreased quality of life in patients with terminal malignancies; palliation of respiratory symptoms can be performed by several different approaches, but a minimally invasive procedure to provide relief of respiratory symptoms would be optimal.


This study aimed to evaluate the usage of a small bore catheter in outpatients as an alternative, effective, and safe method to the traditionally large bore chest tube in the management of MPE.

Patients and methods

Fifty patients with MPE were grouped randomly into two groups according to the method of drainage.


The results showed that there were significant statistical differences in the results of both groups as the duration of catheter was 4 (3–5) days to 11 (10–10.25) days in the chest tube group; the cost of hospital and medication was 780±1400 LE in the pleural catheter group, whereas in the chest tube group, it was 11 520±1895.61 LE and the total cost was 5520±17 600 in the pleural catheter group and 14 020.00 ±1895.61 LE in the chest tube group. The modified Borg scale for dyspnea after insertion showed a 43% improvement in dyspnea in the small bore pleural catheter group compared with 41% in the chest tube group.


On the basis of the results of this study and other studies, we conclude that a small bore catheter is as effective and safe as a large bore chest tube in the treatment of MPEs and use in the outpatient clinic led to few complications.


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Correspondence to Dina R. Abd El Sadek Msc.

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Farrag, M.A., Sharkawy, S.H., Diab, H.S. et al. Use of a small bore pleural catheter in the managemen of patients with malignant pleural effusion. Egypt J Bronchol 11, 209–214 (2017).

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