Safety and utility of indwelling pleural catheters in lung transplant recipients

the Interventional Pulmonary Outcomes Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The safety and efficacy of indwelling pleural catheters (IPCs) in lung allograft recipients is under-reported. Methods: We performed a multicenter, retrospective analysis between 1/1/2010 and 6/1/2022 of consecutive IPCs placed in lung transplant recipients. Outcomes included incidence of infectious and non-infectious complications and rate of auto-pleurodesis. Results: Seventy-one IPCs placed in 61 lung transplant patients at eight centers were included. The most common indication for IPC placement was recurrent post-operative effusion. IPCs were placed at a median of 59 days (IQR 40–203) post-transplant and remained for 43 days (IQR 25-88). There was a total of eight (11%) complications. Infection occurred in five patients (7%); four had empyema and one had a catheter tract infection. IPCs did not cause death or critical illness in our cohort. Auto-pleurodesis leading to the removal of the IPC occurred in 63 (89%) instances. None of the patients in this cohort required subsequent surgical decortication. Conclusions: The use of IPCs in lung transplant patients was associated with an infectious complication rate comparable to other populations previously studied. A high rate of auto-pleurodesis was observed. This work suggests that IPCs may be considered for the management of recurrent pleural effusions in lung allograft recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15056
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • complications
  • indwelling pleural catheters
  • lung transplantation
  • pleurodesis


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