Purpose: Ultrasound (US) guidance is currently used for placement of wire-guided thoracic drains, and its use is associated with a decreased risk of complications. However, most studies conducted to date in this field have been performed on adult patients. The aim of this study was to report the technical success and complication rates observed during real-time US-guided placement of a thoracic pigtail catheter in pediatric liver-transplant recipients with symptomatic pleural effusion. Methods: This was a single-center retrospective review of the clinical records and images from pediatric liver-transplant patients with symptomatic pleural effusion who had undergone real-time US-guided pleural-space puncture followed by placement (via the Seldinger technique) of a pigtail catheter for drainage, between May 2006 and June 2014. Results: We identified 25 patients who had undergone 41 pigtail catheter-placement procedures during the study period. The patients' mean age (± SD) was 4.2 ± 3.9 years (range, 2 months to 16 years), and their mean weight was 14.2 ± 7.2 kg (range, 4.5-33 kg). Seventeen procedures had been performed in the intensive care unit, and 8, in patients undergoing mechanical ventilation. Twelve of the 41 procedures had been performed in patients with altered hemostasis (ie, platelet count <50 × 103/μl and/or international normalized ratio > 1.5). The size of the pigtail catheters ranged from 5 F to 8.5 F. The technical success rate was 100%, with no major complications such as pneumothorax or hemothorax. Accidental dislocation of the catheter occurred in four patients (9%) over 3-10 days after the first procedure. Conclusions: In our experience, real-time US-guided pleural-space puncture, performed at bedside, with the patient in the supine position, followed by placement of a pigtail catheter for drainage of effusion, is safe to use and has a high rate of technical success in pediatric patients.
- Interventional radiology
- Pigtail catheter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging