Percutaneous Drainage of Thoracic Collections

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Various infected and noninfected thoracic fluid collections may be diagnosed and treated by interventional radiologic techniques. The core procedure of ultrasound-guided thoracentesis has been expanded to allow catheter drainage of empyema, bronchopleural fistula, abscesses in the lung, mediastinum, pericardium, and infected tumors. Tailored use of guidance methods permits effective evacuation of most of these abscesses and noninfected collections. This paper details the authors' approach to each of these entities while highlighting the results and expected pitfalls of these techniques.

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