Somatostatin: a new therapeutic option for the treatment of chylothorax

Intensive Care Med. 2001 Jun;27(6):1083-6. doi: 10.1007/s001340100959.


Background: The standard treatment of chylothorax in pediatric intensive care today includes conservative therapy with fat-free nutrition, total parenteral nutrition and, if this is not successful, operative treatment (pleurodesis, ligation of the duct, pleuroperitoneal shunt).

Patients: We describe four patients who were not in a suitable condition for operative treatment and who were treated with continuous infusion of somatostatin.

Results: In three patients, chylothorax ceased with the continuous somatostatin infusion without side effects. One patient was treated without success.

Conclusions: Somatostatin is a therapeutic option for treatment of chylothorax and could reduce surgical intervention and hospitalization time, as well as allow earlier enteral feeding.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Chylothorax / drug therapy*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Somatostatin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hormones
  • Somatostatin