INTRODUCTION: Refractory chylothorax is a severe clinical issue, particularly in neonates. Conventional primary approach is based on diet with medium-chain fatty acids and/or total parenteral nutrition. In nonresponders, proposed second line treatments include chemical or surgical pleurodesis, thoracic duct ligation, pleuroperitoneal shunting and pleurectomy but none of these have been shown to be superior to other in terms of resolution rate and safety. Our aim is to report our experience on povidone-iodine use for chemical pleurodesis in newborn infants with chylothorax unresponsive to conservative treatment. Our aim is to report our experience on povidone-iodine use for chemical pleurodesis in newborn infants with chylothorax unresponsive to conservative treatment.
METHODS: Since 2013, povidone-iodine pleurodesis was attempted in all patients with persistent chylothorax who failed conservative treatment (no response to at least 10 days of total parenteral nutrition and maximum dosage of intravenous octreotide). Pleurodesis consisted in the injection of 2 ml/kg of a 4% povidone-iodine solution inside the pleural space, leaving the pleural tube clamped for the subsequent 4 hours.
RESULTS: Five patients were treated with chemical pleurodesis of persistent chylothorax. Four of 5 patients had their pleural effusion treated by one single povidone-iodine infusion. Median time for resolution was 4 days. A patient with massive superior vena cava thrombosis did not benefit from pleurodesis. None of the patients experienced long term side effects of the treatment.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that povidone-iodine pleurodesis may be considered a safe and effective option to treat refractory chylothorax in newborns.
- Chemical pleurodesis
- Neonatal pleural effusion
- Pleurodesis with povidone–iodine
- Refractory chylothorax
ASJC Scopus subject areas