Respiratory functional outcomes improvement with intervention in chronic empyema thoracis: a retrospective analysis

  • Sanjeev Kumar
  • Ashok Kumar
  • Ajay Kumar PalEmail author
  • Suresh Kumar Ahirwar
  • Suresh Kumar
  • Arshad Ahmad
Original Article



Chronic pleural empyema is usually a consequence of in adequate treatment of acute pleural empyema. The incidence of tubercular and post-intervention empyema has increased in underdeveloped or developing countries adding to economic burden on the society. We have performed a retrospective analysis on role of intervention in chronic empyema to improve respiratory functional outcomes.


We retrospectively reviewed data of 115 patients of chronic tubercular and parapneumonic empyema thoracis to evaluate change in functional outcome parameters based on their treatment modalities during follow-up in department of surgery, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, India. Accordingly, four groups were made—group 1 (tube thoracostomy), group 2 (decortication by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)), group 3 (decortication by open thoracotomy), and group 4 (window thoracostomy followed by thoracomyoplasty).


Significant improvement was noted in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1)% and forced vital capacity (FVC)% in all groups. In spirometry, percent change in mean FEV1 from pre-intervention to post-intervention was increase of 55.4%, 38.3%, 47.2, and 59.21% in group 1, group 2, group 3, and group 4 respectively, and percent change in mean FVC from pre-intervention to post-intervention was increase of 53.30%, 38.11%, 51.23, and 54.21% in group 1, group 2, group 3, and group 4 respectively.


Our study showed that a significant increase was observed in FVC and FEV1 from pre to post among all the groups. Comparable improvement of functional outcomes with non-operative intervention in properly selected patients can be achieved.


Spirometry Empyema Decortication 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Indian Association of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgeons 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjeev Kumar
    • 1
  • Ashok Kumar
    • 1
  • Ajay Kumar Pal
    • 1
  • Suresh Kumar Ahirwar
    • 2
  • Suresh Kumar
    • 1
  • Arshad Ahmad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryKing George Medical UniversityLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of Skin and Veneral DiseasesRML Institute of Medical SciencesLucknowIndia

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