Pigtail Chest Catheter Placement with Ultrasound Guidance

  • Jennifer Cone
  • Stuart Schroff
  • Kazuhide MatsushimaEmail author


  • A bedside thoracentesis is performed for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in patients with pleural effusions.

  • The needle should be advanced just above the superior aspect of the rib to avoid injuries to the neurovascular bundle (intercostal artery, vein, and nerve) (Fig. 9.1).

  • The use of ultrasound for guidance is recommended to reduce the risk of complications.

  • A low-frequency (3.5–5 MHz) ultrasound transducer is best suited for thoracentesis.

  • The patient should be evaluated for any risk factors (e.g., coagulopathy).

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Cone
    • 1
  • Stuart Schroff
    • 2
  • Kazuhide Matsushima
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Acute Care SurgeryUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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