Ultrasound findings following failed, clinically directed thoracenteses

J Clin Ultrasound. 1994 Sep;22(7):419-26. doi: 10.1002/jcu.1870220702.


We prospectively examined 26 patients who were referred for ultrasound-guided thoracentesis, following at least one unsuccessful, clinically guided attempt. Sonographically guided thoracentesis was successful in obtaining fluid in 88% of patients. In addition, ultrasonography proved useful in suggesting or defining the cause for the initial unsuccessful attempt. Patients who have undergone an unsuccessful clinically guided thoracentesis and are referred for sonographic assistance represent a selected group who may have complicating factors not typically present during routine thoracentesis. Awareness of these potential complicating factors may facilitate the performance of ultrasound-guided thoracenteses.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Effusion / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pleural Effusion / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Failure
  • Ultrasonography