Ultrasound-guided pneumothorax induction prior to local anaesthetic thoracoscopy.
Corcoran JP., Psallidas I., Hallifax RJ., Talwar A., Sykes A., Rahman NM.
Local anaesthetic thoracoscopy (LAT) is performed by a growing number of respiratory physicians in the context of an expanding population with pleural disease. Most LATs occur in patients with moderate to large effusions where the presence of fluid allows safe access to the pleural space. Patients with little or no fluid, but other features concerning for pleural disease, are usually investigated by surgical means. Advanced LAT practitioners can also provide this service through pneumothorax induction, although there is little published data on the safety or efficacy of this technique. We present data from a series of 77 consecutive patients in whom ultrasound-guided pneumothorax induction and LAT were attempted. 67 procedures (87.0%) were successful, with the most common histopathological diagnoses being chronic pleuritis (58.2%) and mesothelioma (16.4%). No adverse events were reported secondary to the procedure. These findings demonstrate the utility of this approach and should inform future practice and guidelines.