Bilateral traumatic chylothorax treated by thoracic duct embolization: a rare treatment for an uncommon problem

Vasc Med. 2011 Aug;16(4):284-7. doi: 10.1177/1358863X11408747. Epub 2011 Jun 27.


Prolonged chylothorax is a rare, life-threatening, pleural effusion that may be encountered in the setting of trauma. Conservative treatment may be successful and is the traditional approach in cases of limited chyle output. Early surgical intervention is required in cases with large refractory chyle output, but may be associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Percutaneous thoracic duct embolization is an uncommon, minimally invasive, safe and effective treatment alternative. We report a case of successful thoracic duct embolization to treat large-volume chylothorax due to blunt trauma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Chylothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Chylothorax / etiology
  • Chylothorax / therapy*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Thoracic Duct / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Duct / injuries*
  • Thoracic Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Injuries / etiology
  • Thoracic Injuries / therapy*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome