Is pleurodesis (pleural sclerosis) an effective treatment in pleural effusion (fluid on the lungs)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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A 2006 systematic review found that in pleurodesis, rotating the patient through different positions did not appear necessary to ensure distribution of soluble sclerosing agents throughout the pleural space. In addition, neither protracted drainage after instillation of sclerotics nor the use of larger-bore chest tubes increased the effectiveness of pleurodesis. [54]

Pleurodesis is likely to be successful only if the pleural space is drained completely before pleurodesis and if the lung is fully re-expanded to appose the visceral and parietal pleura after sclerosis. Animal studies suggest that systemic corticosteroids can reduce inflammation during sclerosis and can cause pleurodesis failures.

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