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Chronic Empyema: Aetiopathology and Management Challenges in the Developing World

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DOI: 10.4236/ss.2011.29097    5,712 Downloads   8,704 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Chronic empyema thoracis (CET) is common worldwide despite widespread use of highly effective antibiotics. Also, newer technological armamentaria are available for its diagnosis and treatment. This research was performed to study the aetiopathological profile and the management challenges of CET in view of the background information stated above. Methods: It is a prospective study spanning a period of 62 months in Lagos, Nigeria. Patients’ bio-data, aetiological factors, salient clinical features, management modalities and complications of care were documented and analysed. We excluded patients who were not fit for surgery and those who could not afford surgery. Patients that were initially registered as chronic empyema patients but who later became positive for malignancy were also excluded. Results: There were 93 patients (61 males and 31 females). Age range was 4-72 years but the range 20-49 years constituted 71.0% of the studied population. Poorly treated acute chest infections was the aetiological factor in 49.5% of patients. Tuberculosis was established in 37 patients (39.8%) who were especially in social classes I and II. Decortication and pneumonectomy were done for 52.7% and 16.1% of the patients respectively. Average hospitalisation was prolonged for pneumonectomy because some patients had pneumonectomy space infections. Discusion: CET remains a worldwide problem despite widespread use of potent antibiotics. There are newer diagnostic and therapeutic armamentaria that are not readily available in developing world thereby posing major challenges to practicing surgeons.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Thomas and E. Ogunleye, "Chronic Empyema: Aetiopathology and Management Challenges in the Developing World," Surgical Science, Vol. 2 No. 9, 2011, pp. 446-450. doi: 10.4236/ss.2011.29097.

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