Previously, we have shown rapid and complete dispersion of tetracycline hydrochloride in the pleural space following chest tube instillation. To assess the clinical relevance of this observation, we randomized patients with symptomatic pleural effusions to rotation (R) (n = 19) and nonrotation (NR) (n = 21) groups following administration of tetracycline hydrochloride, 20 mg/kg (n = 30); 300 mg of minocycline hydrochloride (n = 6); and 500 mg of doxycycline hydrochloride (n = 4) through a chest tube. Patients in the R group were maneuvered through six positions for the 2 h that the chest tube remained clamped. The NR patients remained supine for 2 h. Rotation and nonrotation groups were similar in demographics, source of pleural effusion, symptoms, and serum and pleural fluid analyses (all p = NS). A chest radiograph was scored based on pleural fluid recurrence throughout survival or up to 12 months. Survival, duration of chest tube instillation, and success of pleurodesis assessed by radiographic pleural fluid reaccumulation (73.7 vs 61.9 percent; R vs NR) were similar (p = NS). Rotational maneuvers appear to offer no benefit to the success of pleural symphysis after intrapleural instillation of tetracycline class agents.