Lung abscess predicts the surgical outcome in patients with pleural empyema


Abstract Objectives Most cases of pleural empyema are caused by pulmonary infections, which are usually combined with pneumonia or lung abscess. The mortality of patients with pleural empyema remains high (up to 20%). It also contributes to higher hospital costs and longer hospital stays. We studied pleural empyema with combined lung abscess to determine if abscess was associated with mortality. Methods From January 2004 to December 2006, we retrospectively reviewed 259 patients diagnosed with pleural empyema who received thoracscopic decortications of the pleura in a single medical center. We evaluated their clinical data and analyzed their chest computed tomography scans. Outcomes of pleural empyema were compared between groups with and without lung abscess. Results Twenty-two pleural empyema patients had lung abscesses. Clinical data showed significantly higher incidences in the lung abscess group of pre-operative leukocytosis, need for an intensive care unit stay and mortality. Conclusion Patients with pleural empyema and lung abscess have higher intensive care unit admission rate, higher mortality during 30 days and overall mortality than patients with pleural empyema. The odds ratio of lung abscess is 4.685. Physician shall pay more attention on high risk patient of lung abscess for early detection and management.</p

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