Ambulatory sclerotherapy for malignant pleural effusions

Radiology. 1996 Apr;199(1):133-5. doi: 10.1148/radiology.199.1.8633136.


Purpose: To determine the feasibility of ambulatory drainage and sclerotherapy in malignant pleural effusions.

Materials and methods: Nineteen consecutive patients with symptomatic malignant pleural effusions were enrolled. None of the patients previously underwent sclerotherapy. A fluoroscopically placed 10.3-F catheter was connected to a closed gravity drainage bag system. Sclerotherapy was performed with bleomycin when daily drainage was less than 100 mL. Radiographic response was graded at 30 days. All patients were examined for symptomatic response and for complications.

Results: The tubes remained in place 2-11 days (mean, 5.1 days). Total pleural drainage ranged from 950 to 3,925 mL (mean, 1,647 mL); all 19 patients had improvement of symptoms. At 30 days, 10 (53%) patients had a complete response, five (26%) had a partial response, and four (21%) had progressive disease.

Conclusion: Ambulatory sclerotherapy is a safe, viable alternative to conventional inpatient treatment of malignant pleural effusions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Bleomycin / therapeutic use*
  • Chest Tubes
  • Drainage / instrumentation
  • Drainage / methods
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / therapy*
  • Sclerosing Solutions / therapeutic use*
  • Sclerotherapy / instrumentation
  • Sclerotherapy / methods*
  • Time Factors


  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Bleomycin