Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2022 Aug 22;(Forthcoming):arztebl.m2022.0229. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.m2022.0229. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: 40 000 to 60 000 people develop malignant pleural effusion (MPE) in Germany each year. The most common causes are lung cancer and breast cancer. Patients with pleural carcinomatosis have a median survival time of four months.
METHODS: We investigated the current health services situation regarding treatment with indwelling pleural catheters (IPC) versus talc pleurodesis (TP) in Germany based on registry data from the Federal Statistical Office, the Pleural Tumor Registry of the German Society for Thoracic Surgery, and the IPC registry of the ewimed GmbH company. In addition, we conducted a selective literature review on IPC and TP.
RESULTS: The symptoms of dyspnea and thoracic pressure determine the need for therapy in MPE. Both TP and IPC are effective treatment options for MPE. Both therapeutic procedures are considered equally effective with respect to the relief of dyspnea, post-interventional quality of life, and complication rates. TP yields a higher rate of successful pleurodesis than IPC (relative risk: 1.56; 95% confidence interval: [1.26; 1.92]; p < 0.0001), while patients who receive an IPC stay in the hospital for a shorter time than those who undergo TP (a difference of slightly more than two days). The survival of patients with MPE is not affected by which of the two local therapeutic procedures is chosen.
CONCLUSION: The indication for either IPC or TP needs to be determined individually for each patient on the basis of his or her general condition, symptoms, clinical situation (“trapped lung”), and prognosis.