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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 198-203

The effectiveness of small-bore intercostal catheters versus large-bore chest tubes in the management of pleural disease with the systematic review of literature

1 Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA, Australia
2 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, NT, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sumit Mehra
Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA-5042
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_229_19

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Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of small-bore intercostal catheters (SB ICCs; 10–14 Fr) to large-bore intercostal tubes (LB ICTs; >20 Fr) in the management of pleural diseases. Methods: A total of 52 patients (42 males) with a mean age of 55 ± 23 years undergoing pleural intervention were included in the analysis. Twenty-five patients (48.1%) had pneumothorax and rest (51.9%) had pleural effusion. Half of the patients underwent SB ICC (mean age: 63 ± 20 years) and the remaining 26 underwent LB ICT (mean age: 47 ± 25 years). Results: SB ICCs were predominantly used in patients with primary pleural effusion and LB ICTs in patients presenting with pneumothorax. Failures were in <20% of SB ICC patients (mainly from loculation) and in <30% with LB ICT patients (from persistent airleak) – difference that was not statistically significant. In both groups, no deaths or major complications directly related to the procedure were observed. However, the proportion that needed surgery was significantly different in two cohorts (18.5% OF SB ICC and 42.3% of LB ICT cohorts). The ICC dwell time was less in SB ICC (5 ± 4 days), compared to LB ICT (8 ± 6 days). SB ICCs were associated with less pain and seem to be tolerated better by the patients. Conclusions: In well-supervised tertiary hospital setting, SB ICCs are as effective as LB ICTs with better patient tolerance, reduced dwell time, and reduced likelihood for surgical intervention.

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