This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of a novel chest drainage system. This system employs guide wire-based active chest tube clearance to improve drainage and maintain patency. A 32 Fr chest tube was inserted into pleural cavities of five pigs. On the left, a tube was connected to the chest canister, and on the right, the new system was inserted between the chest tube and chest canister. Acute bleeding was mimicked by periodic infusion of blood. The amount of blood drained from each chest cavity was recorded every 15 min for 2 h. After completion of the procedure, all residual blood and clots in each chest cavity were assessed. The new system remained widely patent, and the amount of drainage achieved with this system (670+/-105 ml) was significantly (P=0.01) higher than that with the standard tube (239+/-131 ml). The amount of retained pleural blood and clots with this system (150+/-107 ml) was significantly (P=0.04) lower than that with the standard tube (571+/-248 ml). In conclusion, a novel chest drainage system with active tube clearance significantly improved drainage without tube manipulations.
2010 Published by European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.