What are the possible complications of tunneled pleural catheters (TPC) used to treat malignant pleural effusions?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Complications reported from use of TPC include malfunction of the catheter (9.1%), clogging (3.7%), and pain (5.6%). [56] Less common but serious complications associated with TPC are infection (2.8%) or, when used for malignant effusions, tumor invasion of the catheter track (less than 1%). Notably, systemic chemotherapy does not increase the risk of pleural infection and can be used in these patients. [52]


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