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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2007 April;20(2):73-6

language: English

Intrapleural infusion of urokinase in children

Markou A., Drakou A., Zisopoulou S., Koutrogianni V.

Clinica di Chirurgia Pediatrica Ospedale Generale di Larisa, Grecia


Aim. Pleural effusion and empyema are common complications of the bacterial pneumonia in children. Intrapleural infusion of urokinase can peptonize the viscid fluid collection increasing and facilitating the drainage of this liquid, encysted or/and too tenacious to be drained by tube thoracostomy.
Methods. In the last 4 years, 8 patients with pleural effusions and empyema were treated with intrapleural infusion of urokinase in our department. The children were treated with antibiotics and placement of tube thoracostomy. Because of the persistence of the fluid intrapleural collection it was decided on proceeding in intrapleural infusion of urokinase (100.000 units in 20 ml 0,9% saline solution) through the tube thoracostomy.
Results. In all cases, there was observed a considerable clinical and radiological improvement. The follow-up goes from 6 months to 4 years and all patients are in good physical conditions without recurrences or complications.
Conclusions. Intrapleural infusion of urokinase in children is a secure and effective method to obtain the drainage of pleural effusion liquid. Grave complications are not frequent. The treatment is more effective during the first stage of the evolutionary story of the pathology. It is also possible decrease the need for surgical interventions and the time of hospitalization of the young patients.

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