Background: Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is common in advanced cancer disease. Treatment consists of sequential thoracentesis or tube thoracostomy but the use of pigtail catheters have become increasingly common.
Aim : To compare intercostal tube drainage and pigtail drainage regarding pain score, duration of hospital stay, duration of drainage and the success rate of pleurodesis in patients with malignant pleural effusion .
Methods: A prospective study was conducted in chest department, Kasr El-Aini hospital, Cairo University in the period from June 2018 to January 2020. It included 40 patients with MPE were classified into Group A: 20 patients underwent thoracoscopic pleural biopsy with intercostal tube insertion. Group B: 20 patients underwent US guided biopsy with pigtail insertion. The pain score assessed during the procedures using visual analogue scale VAS. Duration of hospital stay and duration of drainage were recorded. pleurodesis was done by Doxycycline (vibramycin) .
Results: Both groups were similar regarding success rate of pleurodesis .Pigtail catheters were associated with minor complications. Regarding chest pain using VAS group B (VAS 1.7 ± 1.34) was lesser than group A (VAS 7.3 ± 0.98), duration of hospitalization and duration of drainage was shorter in group B (6.55 ± 1.23 days) and (3.95 ± 0.83 days) respectively .
Conclusion: Small bore catheter is a good alternative to chest tube for drainage of MPE as its equally effective and significantly less painful. Moreover, pigtail catheter drainage reduces the length of hospital stay .
Key words: MPE, Pigtail catheter, Chest tube .