Additional minocycline pleurodesis after thoracoscopic surgery for primary spontaneous pneumothorax

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006 Mar 1;173(5):548-54. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200509-1414OC. Epub 2005 Dec 15.


Rationale: Ipsilateral recurrence rates of spontaneous pneumothorax after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery are higher than rates after open thoracotomy.

Objectives: This study was conducted to determine whether additional minocycline pleurodesis would be effective in diminishing recurrence after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax.

Methods: Between June 2001 and February 2004, 202 patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax were treated by conventional or needlescopic video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. The procedures included resection of blebs and mechanical pleurodesis by scrubbing the parietal pleura. After the operation, patients were randomly assigned to additional minocycline pleurodesis (103 patients) or to observation (99 patients).

Main results: Patients in the minocycline group had higher intensity chest pain and required a higher accumulated dose of meperidine. Short-term results showed that the two groups had comparable chest drainage duration, postoperative hospital stay, and complication rates. Patients in the minocycline group demonstrated a trend of decreased rate of prolonged air leaks (1.9 vs. 6.1%, p = 0.100). After a mean follow-up of 29 mo (12-47 mo), recurrent ipsilateral pneumothorax was noted in two patients in the minocycline group and eight patients in the observation group (p = 0.044 by the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test). Postoperative long-term residual chest pain and pulmonary function were comparable in both groups.

Conclusions: Although associated with intense immediate chest pain, additional minocycline pleurodesis is a safe and convenient procedure that can reduce the rate of ipsilateral recurrence after thoracoscopic treatment for primary spontaneous pneumothorax.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Chest Pain / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minocycline / administration & dosage*
  • Pleurodesis / methods*
  • Pneumothorax / etiology*
  • Pneumothorax / prevention & control*
  • Recurrence
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / adverse effects*


  • Minocycline