, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 745-750
Date: 31 Dec 2008

Bedside Talc Pleurodesis for Malignant Pleural Effusion: Factors Affecting Success

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To determine the factors affecting the success of bedside talc slurry (TS) used for symptomatic treatment of patients with malignant pleural effusion (MPE).


Data of 113 effusions in 103 MPE patients treated between 1999 and 2007 were retrospectively evaluated for the study. The study group involved 73 patients whose follow-up information was available out of 81 patients treated by TS. Causes of MPE were lung cancer in 22 patients (30.1%) and breast carcinoma in 21 patients (28.8%).


The success rate of TS was significantly higher if the time period between radiological diagnosis of effusion and administration of TS was less than 30 days (P = .02), or spontaneous expansion was attained after chest tube drainage (CTD) (P = .01). Success rate was higher for patients with daily drainage of less than 200 ml before TS than patients with more than 200 ml of daily drainage (P = .01). Dose of talc, either 4 g or above (P = .34), primary cause of MPE (P = .53), time to termination of CTD (P = .57), amount of drainage when CTD was terminated (P = .23), and time period between CTD and administration of TS (P = .20) did not show a statistically significant effect on the success of TS.


In the treatment of malignant pleural effusion, patients with daily drainage of less than 200 ml before TS developed less recurrence than patients with daily drainage of more than 200 ml. Longer time period between the diagnosis of MPE and onset of CTD increased recurrence.