Journal List > J Korean Radiol Soc > v.55(1) > 1004330

Lee: Percutaneous Catheter Drainage of Thoracic Fluid: The Usefulness and Safety of Bedside Trocar Placement under Ultrasound Guidance



The author wanted to evaluate the usefulness and safety of the trocar technique for US-guided bedside catheter placement into thoracic fluid collections, and this technique has generally been reserved for the larger or superficial fluid collections.

Materials and Methods

42 drainage procedures were performed in 38 patients at the bedside. The patients were positioned supine or semi-upright. A drainage catheter system with a stylet and cannula assembly was used and all of the catheters were inserted using the trocar technique. The procedures consisted of drainage of empyema (n=14), malignant effusion (n=13), lung abscess (n=3), massive transudate (n=8), hemothorax (n=2) and chest wall hematoma (n=2). The clinical results were classified as successful (complete & partially successful), failure or undetermined. The medical records and images were retrospectively reviewed to evaluate the success rate, the complications and the procedure time.


Technical success was achieved in all of the 42 procedures. With using the trocar technique, all the catheters were placed into even the small collections without significant complications. Drainage was successful in 36 (85.7%) of the 42 procedures. The average volume of thoracic fluid that was aspirated manually at the time of catheter placement was 420 mL (range: 35 to 1470 mL). The procedure time was less than 10 minutes from US-localization to complete catheter placement in all of the procedures.


The trocar technique under US guidance can be an efficient and safe alternative to the Seldinger or guide-wire exchange technique for bedside catheter placement in the critically ill or hemodynamically unstable patients.

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