Performing Pleurodesis when lung fluid levels are 300-500ml per day. - 1258678


I was told by my mother's oncologist that pleurodesis cannot be performed unless the fluid levels drop to less than 100 ml.

Is this information correct ?


dr. weiss
Posts: 206

That's about right. With really small efussions, it's hard to get in the fluid-filled spice without causing problems like pneumothorax (puncturing lung). Also, it's often less useful to do so--tiny efussions often don't bother people.

Posts: 2

Dr Weiss , sorry I didnt understand your reply.

My mother's lungs produce 300 - 500 milliter per day and that equates to nearly four litres of fluid per week.
Are you saying this is a tiny effusion ?

1 litre = 1000 milliliter

The oncologist says that unless the fluid levels drop to 100 ml or so, pleurodesis cannot be performed.


Dr West
Posts: 4735

Let me try to clarify, because I think Dr. Weiss misunderstood the angle of your question. It is true that it is difficult and potentially dangerous to try to do a thoracentesis (tap fluid from pleural space) for a small effusion. However, to address your specific question, the issue is that a pleurodesis is very unlikely to be effective if there is a very large amount of fluid being produced, because the outside of the lung needs to lie adjacent to the inside of the chest wall in order to produce the scarring that connects these two surfaces after a successful pleurodesis. If there's a lot of fluid being produced, these surfaces will remain separated, and a pleurodesis is very unlikely to be successful.

-Dr. West