Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax: which associated conditions benefit from pigtail catheter treatment?

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Abstract

Objective

The study aimed to assess the clinical efficacy of pigtail catheter drainage for patients with a first episode of secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) and different associated conditions.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with SSP who received pigtail catheter drainage as their initial management between July 2002 and October 2009. A total of 168 patients were included in the analysis; 144 (86%) males and 24 (14%) females with a mean age of 60.3 ± 18.3 years (range, 17-91 years). Data regarding demographic characteristics, pneumothorax size, complications, treatments, length of hospital stay, and associated conditions were analyzed.

Results

In total, 118 (70%) patients were successfully treated with pigtail catheter drainage, and 50 (30%) patients required further management. Chronic obstructive lung disease was the most common underlying disease (57% of cases). Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax associated with infectious diseases had a higher rate of treatment failure than SSP associated with obstructive lung conditions (19/38 [50%] successful vs 78/104 [75%] successful, P = .004) and malignancy (19/38 [50%] successful vs 13/16 [81%] successful, P = .021). Moreover, patients with SSP associated with infectious diseases had a longer length of hospital stay than those with obstructive lung conditions (23.8 vs 14.5 days, P = .003) and malignancy (23.8 vs 12.1 days, P = .017). No complications were associated with pigtail catheter drainage.

Conclusions

A higher rate of treatment failure was noted in SSP patients with infectious diseases; thus, pigtail catheter drainage is appropriate as an initial management for patients with SSPs associated with obstructive lung conditions and malignancy.

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