Current and future therapy for malignant pleural effusion

S. M. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Several options are available for treatment of malignant pleural effusions in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. Repeat thoracentesis may be appropriate for the patient with limited survival and a slowly recurrent effusion. Pleurodesis with a sclerosing agent administered via a chest tube is the most widely used therapy, though controversy exists as to which drug produces the best results. Pleuroperitoneal shunting remains an option for those patients whose lung is trapped by tumor. Video-assisted thoracoscopy is likely to change the treatment patterns of malignant pleural effusion. Thoracoscopic pleurectomy can be performed with minimal morbidity. Alternatively, sclerosing agents such as talc can be easily and uniformly introduced into the thoracic cavity under thoracoscopic control. Future therapy is likely to entail a diagnostic thoracentesis followed by a definitive thoracoscopic procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63S-67S
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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