Use of a pleural catheter for the management of simple pneumothorax

Terri Martin, Giuseppe Fontana, Jemi Olak, Mark Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Study objective: We assessed the use of a pleural catheter (Thoracic Vent) to determine its effectiveness in treating simple pneumothorax (PTX) and in preventing recurrent PTX. Design: A retrospective review was conducted of 84 patients treated with a pleural catheter for iatrogenic (52) and spontaneous (11 primary, 21 secondary) PTX between 1989 and 1994. Patients: There were 45 men and 39 women with a mean age of 50.4 years (range, 18 to 85 years). Results: Mean time to lung reexpansion was 0.5±0.1 days. Forty-five (57%) patients manifested an air leak after catheter placement for 2.0±0.2 days. The duration of time to catheter removal was 3.3±0.2 days. Seventy- one (85%) patients had resolution of PTX with this therapy alone. Thirteen patients (15%) failed to resolve their PTXs and required subsequent tube thoracostomy alone (6) or surgical therapy (7). Four of 11 patients who required tube thoracostomy also failed to respond to this therapy. Treatment failure was more common among patients with spontaneous PTX than with iatrogenic PTX (34% vs 4%; p<0.005). During a mean follow-up of 3.0±0.2 years, 6 (7%) patients suffered recurrent PTX an average of 23 days after initial therapy. Conclusion: This pleural catheter is effective in the management of simple iatrogenic and spontaneous PTX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1172
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996


  • catheter, pleural
  • pleura, drainage
  • pneumothorax, therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of a pleural catheter for the management of simple pneumothorax'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this