Research Article

The thoracoscopic approach in the management of parapneumonic pleural effusion in children

Taycir Cheikhrouhou*, Mahdi Ben Dhaou, Amal Elleuch, Manar Hbaieb, Mohamed Zouari, Mahfoudh Abdelmajid and Riadh Mhiri

Published: 23 December, 2022 | Volume 6 - Issue 2 | Pages: 025-029

Background: Parapneumonic pleural effusion is a relatively common entity and continues to be a major cause of morbidity in children. However, managing this disease is still a matter of controversy between surgical and non-surgical options. With the advancement of mini-invasive surgery, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has become a mainstay in the treatment of parapneumonic effusion in children. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical characteristics and pathological features of parapneumonic pleural effusion in children and to explore the feasibility and safety of the thoracoscopic approach in the pediatric population.
Methods: The clinical data of all patients who underwent VATS for parapneumonic effusion between 2007 and 2021 were analyzed retrospectively. Factors that were documented included demographic criteria, clinical manifestations, preoperative examinations, therapeutic procedures, intraoperative findings, postoperative complications, and outcomes.
Results: Totally, 35 patients with a mean age of 5.14 ± 3.9 years were operated on thoracoscopically. The mean duration of evolution before VATS was 9 days ± 4. All children were hospitalized in a Pediatric Continuing Care Unit. Antibiotic therapy was administrated in combination in all cases. Corticosteroid therapy was used in 2 patients. Thoracentesis was performed in 6 patients. Thoracostomy tube drainage was placed before surgery in 11 patients. The average duration of drainage before VATS was 6 days ± 4. VATS decortication and/or debridement was indicated as second-line in 23 patients. The average duration of the surgery was 51 minutes (20 min - 115 min). There is no conversion to open surgery and no intraoperative procedure-dependent complication. 4 children have early complications after the VATS and one patient had a late postoperative complication. There were no deaths during the hospital stay or follow-up. 
Conclusion: In skilled hands, VATS is safe, feasible, and effective in the management of parapneumonic pleural effusion in children with excellent outcomes.

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.jprr.1001041 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


Parapneumonic pleural effusion; Empyema; Thoracoscopy; Children


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