Current trends in pleurodesis

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 1997 Jul;3(4):319-25.


Pleurodesis is intended to prevent the accumulation of fluid or air in the pleural space by creating symphysis between the visceral and parietal pleura. The main indications for this procedure are malignant effusions and pneumothorax. A reexpandable lung and reasonably long expected survival are criteria that must be met before pleurodesis is attempted in a patient with malignant pleural effusion. A low pleural fluid pH (less than 7.20) is a good predictor for both the presence of a trapped lung and short expected survival. Talc appears to be the sclerosing agent of choice in cases of cancer, whereas video-assisted thoracic surgery techniques are preferable for the treatment of pneumothorax, especially in young patients. To improve results and prevent complications, application of the right technique is crucial, especially with regard to size of drainage and rate of suction. In addition, recent research suggests that prevention of a systemic activation of coagulation with prophylactic heparin should be taken into account in patients who are undergoing pleurodesis for palliative treatment of malignant effusion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pleural Effusion / etiology
  • Pleural Effusion / therapy
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / therapy*
  • Pleurodesis*
  • Pneumothorax / etiology
  • Pneumothorax / therapy*
  • Sclerosing Solutions / administration & dosage
  • Talc / administration & dosage


  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Talc