When retained hemothorax occurs, video-assisted thoracoscopy or thoracotomy is performed, but recently, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) has been used. This study evaluated intrapleural tPA use for retained traumatic hemothoraces.
A retrospective review was conducted of trauma patients treated with intrapleural tPA for retained hemothorax. Data included demographics, past medical and surgical histories, injury details, treatment details, and outcomes.
Seven patients (median age = 47 years, male = 6, blunt trauma = 6) met study criteria. All patients received a chest tube. Six patients later received computed tomography-guided drains for tPA infusion. Number of tPA treatments per patient varied from 1 to 5. Median total tPA dosage was 24 mg. Median time from injury to chest tube placement was 11 days and from chest tube placement to first tPA treatment was 4 days. No patients required a video-assisted thoracoscopy; however, 1 patient required thoracotomy. There were no deaths or bleeding complications attributed to intrapleural tPA.
Although future studies are needed to identify optimum treatment guidelines, intrapleural tPA appears to be a safe and efficacious treatment option.
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Published online: January 06, 2014
Received in revised form: August 2, 2013
Received: July 19, 2013
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.