Interventional radiology of the chest: image-guided percutaneous drainage of pleural effusions, lung abscess, and pneumothorax

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995 Mar;164(3):581-8. doi: 10.2214/ajr.164.3.7863875.


Percutaneous catheter drainage of intrathoracic collections has developed as a natural extension of similar interventional radiologic procedures in the abdomen. The advent of CT and sonography, which allow detection and characterization of pleural and parenchymal collections, combined with advances in drainage catheter design and interventional techniques, have made imaging-guided management of intrathoracic collections a safe and effective alternative to traditional surgical therapy. This article begins with a review of the etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of parapneumonic pleural effusion, which remains the most common indication for image-guided percutaneous drainage. Subsequent sections consider issues related to percutaneous drainage of malignant pleural effusion, lung abscess, and pneumothorax.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drainage / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lung Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Abscess / therapy*
  • Pleural Effusion / diagnostic imaging
  • Pleural Effusion / therapy*
  • Pneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumothorax / therapy*
  • Punctures
  • Radiography, Interventional*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional