Systemic corticosteroids decrease the effectiveness of talc pleurodesis

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 May;157(5 Pt 1):1441-4. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.157.5.9708032.


Corticosteroids can inhibit the inflammatory process and the formation of fibrosis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the concurrent use of steroids at the time of talc-slurry pleurodesis would influence the development of the pleurodesis. One group of rabbits received an intrapleural injection of talc (400 mg/kg) and an intramuscular injection of triamcinolone (0.8 mg/kg) 1 d before talc instillation and weekly thereafter, whereas a control group received only talc. Ten rabbits in each group were killed at 6 h and at 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, and 28 d after instillation. The mean volume of pleural fluid was significantly lower in the group receiving corticosteroids at 6 h through 4 d after talc slurry than in the other groups. The degree of pleural adhesion was significantly smaller in the group receiving corticosteroids from Day 2 through Day 28. At Day 28, all 10 rabbits that received talc only had a pleurodesis score of 3 or 4, whereas only four of the 10 rabbits that also received steroids had a pleurodesis score of 3 or 4. This study shows that the use of corticosteroids at the time of talc-slurry pleurodesis markedly decreases the inflammatory reaction to the talc, and essentially prevents a pleurodesis from developing.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Pleura / pathology
  • Pleurodesis*
  • Rabbits
  • Talc / administration & dosage*
  • Tissue Adhesions
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triamcinolone / administration & dosage
  • Triamcinolone / pharmacology*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Talc
  • Triamcinolone