Current practices in the management of malignant pleural effusions: a survey among members of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Marco Scarci, Edward Caruana, Luca Bertolaccini, Benedetta Bedetti, Alessandro Brunelli, Gonzalo Varela, Kostas Papagiannopoulos, Jaroslaw Kuzdzal, Gilbert Massard, Enrico Ruffini, Pierre Emmanuel Falcoz, Isabelle Opitz, Hasan F Batirel, Alper Toker, Gaetano Rocco, ESTS Malignant Pleural Effusion Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) commonly complicates advanced malignancy and their exact management is still undefined. We undertook a survey to determine the current practice among members of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS).

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey focused on the current practice of management of MPE was developed by the authors. The questions were outlined after a review of the literature and circulated in an Internet-based survey format.

RESULTS: Computed tomography (125, 92%) and chest X-ray (106, 78%) are the most common imaging modalities performed in the initial evaluation. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for washout and pleurodesis (93, 68%) was reported as the preferred approach to patients with uncomplicated MPE. Sixty-one (45%) of the responding colleagues routinely use large bore chest tubes for draining malignant effusions. Forty-nine (35%) surgeons would not apply suction to the drainage system, whilst 50 (37%) would use -2 kPa or less. Talc (124, 91%) is the most commonly used sclerosing agent for pleurodesis in the context of malignant pleural effusion. The practice of 76 (56%) of the respondents is not informed by any clinical guidelines, whilst 60 (44%) reported adhering to the 2010 British Thoracic Society Pleural Disease Guideline. Seventy-one (52%) declared that the guidance was in need of updating or revision.

CONCLUSIONS: This survey demonstrates the lacking adoption of the existing clinical guidance in this field, as well as the need for more contemporary guidelines for a better-informed practice. The ESTS Working Group on the management of MPE has been established for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-417
Number of pages4
JournalInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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