Pleural abrasion for mechanical pleurodesis in surgery for primary spontaneous pneumothorax: is it effective?

Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech. 2012 Feb;22(1):62-4. doi: 10.1097/SLE.0b013e31823cc61e.


Purpose: Some patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax suffer from recurrence of bullous lesions of the lung after resection. Mechanical pleurodesis by pleural abrasion is one of the standard procedures to prevent recurrence. However, there is actually little evidence that pleural abrasion reduces the recurrence of primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of mechanical pleurodesis by pleural abrasion during thoracoscopic procedures for primary pneumothorax.

Methods: From January 2003 to December 2009, 263 patients underwent 294 initial thoracoscopic wedge resections with or without pleural abrasion for primary spontaneous pneumothorax at the Samsung Medical Center. Medical records of patients were reviewed retrospectively.

Results: Thirty-one patients were excluded from the study due to various comorbidities. The remaining 232 patients underwent 257 thoracoscopic wedge resections with (165) or without (92) pleural abrasion. No mortality was observed. Seven additional chemical pleurodesis and 3 reoperations were performed due to persistent air leakage after initial surgery. There were 18 instances of recurrence, and the overall recurrence rate was 7.1%. Twelve additional wedge resections were performed because of recurrence after initial surgery. The mean duration of postoperative pleural drainage was 2.86 days. There were no significant differences in the recurrence rate (P=0.9499), and duration of chest tube drainage (P=0.5200) between the patients with and without pleural abrasion. Younger patients, especially below 17 years of age, had significant risk of recurrence (P<0.0001).

Conclusions: Thoracoscopic wedge resection alone successfully controlled primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Additional pleural abrasion did not decrease the recurrence of pneumothorax after wedge resection of bullae for primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Younger age was associated with higher risk of recurrence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blister / etiology
  • Chest Tubes
  • Drainage / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / etiology
  • Male
  • Pleura / surgery*
  • Pleurodesis / methods*
  • Pneumothorax / surgery*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult