Article Abstract

Erythromycin poudrage versus erythromycin slurry in the treatment of refractory spontaneous pneumothorax

Authors: Cong-Cong Zhai, Xin-Shan Lin, Zhou-Hong Yao, Qing-Hua Liu, Ling Zhu, Dian-Jie Lin, Yun-Yan Wan


Background: Refractory (recurrent or persistent) spontaneous pneumothorax with high recurrence rates required treatment either by continuous chest drainage or interventional approaches. Pleurodesis by sclerosing agents has become a significant therapy in the treatment of refractory spontaneous pneumothorax (RSP) on account of its high efficiency and safety. However, the efficacy, safety and appropriate mode of administration of intrapleural erythromycin for pleurodesis have not yet been realized in the treatment of RSP.
Methods: The trial was performed to compare thoracoscopic erythromycin poudrage with erythromycin slurry via a chest tube for patients with documented RSP. Fifty-seven patients with RSP were enrolled in this study with 30 patients for erythromycin poudrage and 27 patients for erythromycin slurry. Response to pleurodesis, complications and recurrences were recorded. Continuous variables were compared with t-test. Chi-square test was performed to compare categorical variables and Fisher’s exact test was used for small samples.
Results: Twenty-four patients in the erythromycin poudrage group (80%) and sixteen in the erythromycin slurry (ES) group (59.26%) had an immediately successful pleurodesis within 5 days (P=0.087). Patients in erythromycin poudrage had shorter duration of postprocedural chest tube drainage (6.23±3.04 days) than patients in ES (10.67±9.81 days) (P=0.032). During the follow-up, there was no significant statistical difference in recurrence rates between the two groups. Common adverse reactions included fever and chest pain with no significant difference between the two groups.
Conclusions: Erythromycin is an effective and safe sclerosing agent for pleurodesis in management of RSP. Both methods are safe but erythromycin poudrage is more effective than ES.