Objective: Pleurodesis using chemical agents has been applied to high- risk patients with pneumothorax. This treatment, however, is sometimes unsuccessful in patients with intractable pneumothorax or intrapleural dead space. We developed a technique for the intrapleural administration of diluted fibrin glue as a treatment for such patients. Methods: Fibrin glue was diluted fourfold with saline solution and/or contrast medium. Pleurodesis with a large amount of the diluted fibrin glue was performed in 40 high-risk patients with intractable pneumothorax and in 13 postthoracotomy patients with persistent air leakage associated with an intrapleural dead space. Results: The air leaks were stopped by administration of the glue in all patients of both groups. During the follow-up period, a recurrence rate of 12.5% was observed in the former group. These recurrent pneumothoraces also were successfully treated by glue administration with no further recurrence. In the 13 postthoracotomy patients, there was no recurrence after the initial treatment. Pyrexia (12.5%) and chest discomfort (4.1%) were observed as side effects, but there were no findings of severe chest pain or thoracic empyema. Conclusions: These results suggest that intrapleural administration of a large amount of diluted fibrin glue is a useful treatment for intractable pneumothoraces in high-risk or postthoracotomy patients who have an intrapleural dead space.
- Dead space
- Fibrin glue
- Intractable pneumothorax
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine