CT- and ultrasound-guided catheter drainage of empyemas after chest-tube failure

Radiology. 1984 May;151(2):349-53. doi: 10.1148/radiology.151.2.6709904.


CT- and ultrasound-guided catheters were used to locate and drain empyemas in 17 patients, most of whom had failed to improve with conventional chest-tube drainage due to a poorly positioned tube. Fifteen patients (88.2%) were treated successfully, averting surgery or further drainage, and bacteremia in 1 patient was the only complication. Previously unrecognized communications with the bronchi, esophagus, and subphrenic space were demonstrated, and intracavitary tumor biopsy and instillation of a sclerosing agent were performed in several patients. Compared to the tubes used to drain abdominal abscesses, empyema catheters need less irrigation; dionosil is often the preferred contrast agent, the catheter can be withdrawn in one step, and a residual fibrotic or tumor cavity may persist after pus has been evacuated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catheterization / methods*
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Empyema / diagnosis
  • Empyema / diagnostic imaging
  • Empyema / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Punctures / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Ultrasonography*