Videothoracoscopy versus intrapleural streptokinase for management of post traumatic retained haemothorax: a retrospective study of 65 cases

Injury. 2005 Apr;36(4):526-9. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2004.10.008. Epub 2005 Jan 21.


Background: Post traumatic retained haemothorax (PRH) may cause pulmonary restrictions or septic pleural complications. Currently, minimally invasive procedures such as videothoracoscopy or intrapleural fibrinolysis have replaced open surgery in an effort to avoid these complications.

Objective: We have reviewed retrospectively our use of videothoracoscopy versus intrapleural streptokinase for the management of PRH over the last 10 years.

Patients and method: There were 56 males and nine females in the study. Thirty-one cases had been managed by intrapleural streptokinase (group I), and videothoracoscopy was performed on 34 cases (group II). Therapeutic results for both groups were determined by chest radiographs.

Results: In the population from which we drew our study group, retained haemothoraces occurred in 10.9% of 596 cases with traumatic haemothorax. In group I, 22 patients had radiological improvement; the others underwent thoracotomy. In this group, mean hospitalisation time was 14.5(+/-4.2) days, and three cases were complicated by empyema. In group II, all patients except four had complete radiological improvement; two of them required a decortication. In this group, mean hospital stay was 9.8(+/-3.7) days. There were no deaths in either group. The differences between group I and group II for length of hospital stay and number of thoracotomies was statistically significant.

Conclusion: Videothoracoscopy is therefore a more effective procedure than intrapleural streptokinase for the management of PRH.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Hemothorax / drug therapy
  • Hemothorax / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleura
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Streptokinase / administration & dosage*
  • Thoracic Injuries / complications*
  • Thoracic Injuries / drug therapy
  • Thoracic Injuries / therapy
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Streptokinase