Concurrent Versus Sequential Intrapleural Instillation of Tissue Plasminogen Activator and Deoxyribonuclease for Pleural Infection
Treatment of pleural infection with instillation of sequential intrapleural tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and human recombinant deoxyribonuclease (DNase) twice daily for a total of 6 doses has been shown to decrease surgical referral and improve radiographic imaging. This labor-intensive regimen was empirically chosen. Thus, it remains unclear whether the 2 drugs can be administered immediately one after the other (concurrent administration) instead of instilling them separately with a 1-hour to 2-hour interval in between (sequential administration). The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of sequential versus concurrent tPA/DNase therapy in patients with pleural infection.Methods:
This was a prospective observational study. Consecutive patients with pleural infection who received concurrent and sequential tPA/DNase were included. The initiation and number of doses of tPA/DNase therapy were based on the amount of pleural fluid drainage, clinical response and radiographic findings.Results:
A total of 38 patients with pleural infection received tPA/DNase treatment: 18 in the sequential group and 20 in the concurrent group. Treatment was successful in 77.7% in the sequential group and 75% in concurrent group (P=0.57). There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 treatment groups (sequential and concurrent) in median pleural fluid drainage (P=0.45), median volume of pleural effusion estimated on chest computed tomography scan (P=0.4) or median hemithorax occupied by effusion on chest radiography (P=0.83) following intrapleural therapy. One patient required a blood transfusion for gradual pleural blood loss in each treatment group. Pain needing escalation of analgesia affected 3 patients in each arm but none required cessation of therapy.Conclusion:
A simpler regimen of concurrent administration of intrapleural tPA/DNase as compared with sequential intrapleural therapy is safe, effective, and represents a viable option for the management of pleural infection.