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© 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel. All rights reserved. Background: Indwelling pleural catheters (IPC) offer an alternative to talc pleurodesis in recurrent effusion, especially in patients wishing to avoid hospitalization. Two randomized trials have demonstrated reduced time in hospital using IPCs versus talc pleurodesis in malignant pleural effusion (MPE). However, the impact of IPCs on hospital services and patients has not been well studied. Objectives: To analyze long-term outcomes of IPCs and understand the hospital burden in terms of requirement for hospital visits and contacts with healthcare, while the IPC was in situ. Methods: IPC insertions in a tertiary pleural center were analyzed retrospectively. Reviews of patients with IPCs in situ considered "additional" to routine clinical follow-up were defined pre-hoc. Results: A total of 202 cases were analyzed: 89.6% MPE group (n = 181) and 10.4% non-MPE group (n = 21). There were a median 3.0 (interquartile range [IQR] 3) and 2.0 (IQR 2) ipsilateral pleural procedures prior to each IPC insertion in non-MPE and MPE groups, respectively (p = 0.26), and a mean 1.3 (SD 1.7) planned IPC-related outpatient follow-up visits per patient. There were 2 (9.5%) and 14 (7.7%) IPC-related infections in non-MPE and MPE groups, respectively. Four (19.0%) and 44 (24.3%) patients required additional IPC-related reviews in non-MPE and MPE groups, respectively (p = 0.6), and these occurred within 250 days post IPC insertion. Conclusions: Although IPCs decrease initial length of hospital stay compared to talc pleurodesis via chest drain, IPCs are associated with significant hospital-visit burden, in addition to planned visits and regular home IPC drainages. IPC-using services need to be prepared for this additional work to run an IPC service effectively.

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