Complicated parapneumonic effusion and empyema thoracis: Microbiologic and therapeutic aspects

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Patients with pleural infections have a high risk of morbidity and mortality with prolonged hospitalization. The best methods for treating pleural infections remain debatable. Although the increasing drainage volume effect of streptokinase adjunctive to chest-tube, is well known, its effect on clinical outcomes like duration of hospitalization and need for further surgery, remains controversial. The aim of this study was to analyze the etiological and microbiological factors for pleural infections, and assess the effect of streptokinase adjunctive to chest tube for clinical outcomes. Charts of patients with a chest disease department discharge diagnosis of complicated parapneumonic effusion or empyema were retrospectively reviewed. Of the 107 patients (85 male), the mean age was 47.9±17.1 years. The most frequently shown bacteriological agent was Staphylococcus aureus. Drainage with thoracentesis was used in 44 patients (group 1); chest tube was performed in 44 patients (group 2) and intrapleural streptokinase was given after chest tube insertion in 19 patients (group 3). Mean hospitalization time in group 1 was shorter than the other two groups (P < 0.0 5), but there was no significant difference betweens group 2 and 3. Our mortality rate was 8.4%. Success rates were 95.4%, 65.9% and 78.5% in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively (P > 0.05). Intrapleural streptokinase is a safe procedure but it did not effect the duration of hospitalization, mortality and success rate. Mortality remains especially high in patients with concomitant disease. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Ozol, D., Oktem, S., & Erdinc, E. (2006). Complicated parapneumonic effusion and empyema thoracis: Microbiologic and therapeutic aspects. Respiratory Medicine, 100(2), 286–291.

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