The present project involved a collective effort agreed by the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the General Thoracic Surgery Club to assemble a joint panel of experts to review the available data and address ambiguous aspects of chest tube definitions and nomenclature. The task force was composed of 11 invited participants, identified for their expertise in the area of chest tube management. The subject was divided in different topics, which were in turn assigned to at least two experts. The draft reports written by the experts on each topic were distributed to the entire expert panel, and comments solicited in advance of the meetings. During the meetings, the drafts were reviewed, discussed, and agreed on by the entire panel. Standardized definitions and nomenclature were proposed for the following topics related to chest tube management: pleural and respiratory mechanics after pulmonary resection; external suction versus no external suction; fixed versus variable suction; objective air leak evaluation; objective fluid drainage evaluation; and chest drain: type, number, and size. A standardized set of definitions and nomenclature were proposed to set a scientifically based framework with which to evaluate existing studies and to more clearly formulate questions, parameters, and outcomes for future studies.
Copyright © 2011 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.