Indwelling pleural catheters: complications and management strategies
Indwelling pleural catheters (IPCs) are increasingly being used for patients with recurrent malignant pleural effusions. They are simple to place and can be done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. IPCs uniformly relieve dyspnea and improve quality of life of patients with malignant pleural effusions. In some patients with recurrent non-malignant pleural effusions, IPCs proved to be effective as well. With increasing use of IPCs, physicians and patients are faced with complications related to the presence of an indwelling catheter for extended periods of time. The purpose of this review is to describe the various complications of IPCs and to present the available data on how to best treat and potentially prevent these complications.