Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Thoracocentesis

Synonym(s): thoracentesis, pleural fluid drainage

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Mo Kemp , Gayle Hallowell

Introduction

  • Thoracocentesis is indicated where there is evidence of pleural effusion and collection is necessary to undertake examination of the fluid (physical, biochemical, cytologic and bacteriologic). 
  • However, this procedure is rarely performed in cattle, as large accumulations of pleural fluid are often associated with heart failure, infection secondary to a wire that has migrated from the rumen or infectious pleuritis, all of which carry a grave prognosis. 
    • Cattle also have a tendency to form fibrinous adhesions between the visceral and parietal pleura, which can in some circumstances make collection of fluid unrewarding, as often there is a labyrinth of small pockets of exudate, rather than one large reservoir.
Indications
  • Pleural fluid can arise from secondary causes of fluid accumulation - lymphosarcoma or other neoplasms, thoracic trauma, lung abscessation, infectious respiratory causes or migration of ingested wires from the reticulum resulting in infection and heart failure.

Uses

Advantages

  • Simple and safe procedure.
  • Relieves dyspnea and pain.
  • Removes inflammatory products.
Disadvantages
  • Potential complications are serious.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Dependent upon individual disease entity.
  • Good for diagnostic thoracentesis.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Divers T J & Peek S F (2007) Rebhun’s Diseases of Dairy cattle. Elsevier Health Sciences.


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