Vol 16, No 2 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-02-05

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Use of tunnelled pleural catheter for palliative treatment of malignant pleural effusion: Experience of a third level hospital

Juan David Botero12, Javier Iván Lasso, María Natalia Serrano12, Claudio Villaquiran12, July Vianeth Torres3, María José Fernández12
Palliat Med Pract 2022;16(2):103-107.


Introduction: Pleural effusion is a manifestation of advanced cancer that is associated with symptoms
whose control requires adopting different strategies. This study aimed to characterize the population of
patients with malignant pleural effusion who underwent placement (or insertion) of a tunnelled pleural
catheter to alleviate dyspnoea, describe the experience of its use and evaluate the 30-day hospitalization
rate for pleural effusion and the percentage of early and late complications.
Patients and methods: This study is a series of cases with cancer taken to implantation of a closed
pleural drainage system during the year 2020 in a third level hospital in Colombia.
Results: Eight patients underwent this procedure, in whom implantation was successful. Pleural effusion
due to breast cancer was the main indication. No late catheter complications were recorded given the high
30-day mortality, despite a low LENT (LDH, ECOG, neutrophilia and tumour type) score in some patients.
Conclusions: The indwelling tunnelled pleural catheter is useful in the palliative treatment of malignant
pleural effusion with few complications. It is necessary to evaluate the performance of the LENT scale in
the study population, given that despite a low score, the 30-day mortality rate was high.

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