Impact of Chemical Pleurodesis used in the Management of Malignant Pleural Effusion at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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Ahmed A. Aljohaney


Chemical pleurodesis, Bleomycin, Malignant pleural effusion


Background: Chemical pleurodesis is a widely accepted management strategy for preventing re-accumulation of a malignant pleural effusion; intrapleural bleomycin can be used for this purpose.

Objective: To review the experience with chemical pleurodesis involving bleomycin at our institution.

Design: Retrospective analysis of all patients who received bleomycin for chemical pleurodesis over 6 years (May 2006 to April 2012) at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Patient demographics, cancer type, and pertinent data were analyzed.

Results: The most common cancer-causing malignant pleural effusion was breast cancer (32% of cases). Bleomycin was effective for pleurodesis induction, with a success rate of 85% at 30 days and 55% at 90 days and only a few adverse effects.

Conclusion: At our institution, the efficacy of bleomycin for induction of chemical pleurodesis was similar to published studies. Implementation of a management algorithm is required to further improve outcomes in patients with malignant pleural effusion.

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