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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 12, Issue 1, Pages 29-33
Original Article

Chest Tube Drainage Under Radiological Guidance for Pleural Effusion and Pneumothorax in a Tertiary Care University Teaching Hospital: Review of 51 Cases

Luce Cantin,1 Carl Chartrand-Lefebvre,1 Luigi Lepanto,1 David Gianfelice,1 Antoine Rabbat,2 Benoît Aubin,1 Pierre Perreault,1 Renée Déry,1 and Michel Lafortune1

1Radiology Department, University of Montreal Medical Center, Hôpital Saint-Luc, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2Surgery Department, University of Montreal Medical Center, Hôpital Saint-Luc, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Chest tube drainage under radiological guidance has been used with increasing frequency as a treatment option for pleural effusions and pneumothoraxes.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and usefulness of pleural drainage under radiological guidance for pleural effusion and pneumothorax in a tertiary care university teaching hospital.

METHODS: A retrospective study of cases of chest tube placement under radiological guidance over a 12-month period in a university hospital.

RESULTS: Fifty-one percutaneous pigtail catheter drainage cases were reviewed (30 patients). Forty-six (90%) chest tubes were inserted as a first-line treatment. The overall success rate of radiological drainage was 88%. Specific success rates were 92%, 85% and 91% for loculated pleural effusion, pneumothorax and empyema, respectively. The complications were few and minor.

CONCLUSIONS: Pigtail catheter insertion under radiological guidance is a useful procedure for the treatment of sterile pleural effusion, empyema and pneumothorax. This technique can be used as a first-line procedure in the majority of cases.