Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine

Volume 9 Number 1, January 2002

The effectiveness of catheter aspiration in the treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax

SYH Tang, HL Lau, JTS Chan

Catheter aspiration is a simple and minimal invasive method to treat spontaneous pneumothorax. It was recommended by British Thoracic Society in 1993 as the treatment for spontaneous pneumothorax. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of catheter aspiration in the treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax. The protocol involved catheter placement by using Seldinger technique and serial chest X-rays were used to document the degree of lung re-expansion. We report a case series study in which eight patients were recruited into the study. All patients' pneumothorax re-expanded well after the initial attempt of aspiration. However, during the observation period, 5 patients had recurrence of pneumothorax requiring further aspiration. Despite that, these 5 patients finally required chest drain insertion. The remaining 3 patients were discharged after aspiration and were followed up on the following day. Two patients had recurrent pneumothorax and required further intervention. One patient had uneventful recovery. Conclusion: catheter aspiration was effective in relieving spontaneous pneumothorax but with a high recurrence rate. (Hong Kong j.emerg.med. 2002;9:18-22)

Keywords : Catheter aspiration, spontaneous pneumothorax

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