Surgical decortication as the first-line treatment for pleural empyema
Jung Ar Shin ; Yoon Soo Chang ; Min Kwang Byun ; Chul Min Ahn ; Hyung Jung Kim ; Seok Jin Haam ; Tae Hoon Kim
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Vol.145(4) : 933~939, 2013
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
The study objective was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of surgical decortication as the first line of treatment for pleural empyema.
We analyzed the medical records of 111 patients who presented with empyema and were treated with simple drainage or surgical decortication as the first line of treatment at Gangnam Severance Hospital, a tertiary referral medical center in Seoul, Korea.
Of 111 patients with empyema, 27 underwent surgical decortication as the first intervention. Surgical decortication showed a better treatment success rate in all study subjects (96.3%, 26/27 patients) compared with simple drainage (58.3%, 49/84 patients; P < .0001 for method comparison). After propensity-scored matching, decortication resulted in a better outcome (95.0%, 19/20 patients) versus drainage (56.7%, 17/30 patients; P = .003). Surgical decortication as the first line of treatment for empyema was the best predictor of treatment success after adjustment for compounding factors (odds ratio, 14.529; 95% confidence interval, 1.715-123.074; P = .014).
The first treatment choice for pleural empyema is a critical determinant of ultimate therapeutic success. After adjusting for confounding variables, surgical decortication is the optimal first treatment choice for advanced empyema.