Talc pleurodesis ear pain and sore throat

Pleurodesis is a procedure performed to obliterate the pleural space to prevent recurrent pleural effusion or pneumothorax or to a treat persistent pneumothorax. Pleurodesis is commonly accomplished by draining the pleural fluid, when present, followed by either a mechanical procedure (ie, abrasion, or (partial) pleurectomy) or instillation of a chemical irritant into the pleural space, which causes inflammation and fibrosis. Talc pleurodesis is a specific form of chemical pleurodesis. Talc is the most effective sclerosant available for pleurodesis in malignant pleural effusion [ 1]. As compared to indwelling pleural catheter placement, talc pleurodesis has been shown to be equally effective in relieving dyspnea [ 2].

This topic will review the indications, contraindications, patient selection, procedure, and outcomes of talc pleurodesis.


Discussions of the management of malignant and refractory nonmalignant pleural effusions and an overview of chemical pleurodesis are provided separately. (See Management of malignant pleural effusions and Management of refractory nonmalignant pleural effusions and Chemical pleurodesis.)

Talc is predominantly hydrated magnesium silicate (Mg3Si4O10(OH)2), and was first used for pleurodesis in 1935 [ 3]. Varying amounts of calcium, aluminum, and iron may be present, according to the origin of the formulation. Talc may also contain several mineral contaminants (eg, magnesite, dolomite, kaolinite, calcite, chlorite, serpentine, and quartz); medicinal talc is asbestos-free [ 4].

Pleurodesis is a procedure performed to obliterate the pleural space to prevent recurrent pleural effusion or pneumothorax or to a treat persistent pneumothorax. Pleurodesis is commonly accomplished by draining the pleural fluid, when present, followed by either a mechanical procedure (ie, abrasion, or (partial) pleurectomy) or instillation of a chemical irritant into the pleural space, which causes inflammation and fibrosis. Talc pleurodesis is a specific form of chemical pleurodesis. Talc is the most effective sclerosant available for pleurodesis in malignant pleural effusion [ 1]. As compared to indwelling pleural catheter placement, talc pleurodesis has been shown to be equally effective in relieving dyspnea [ 2].

This topic will review the indications, contraindications, patient selection, procedure, and outcomes of talc pleurodesis. Discussions of the management of malignant and refractory nonmalignant pleural effusions and an overview of chemical pleurodesis are provided separately. (See Management of malignant pleural effusions and Management of refractory nonmalignant pleural effusions and Chemical pleurodesis.)

Talc is predominantly hydrated magnesium silicate (Mg3Si4O10(OH)2), and was first used for pleurodesis in 1935 [ 3]. Varying amounts of calcium, aluminum, and iron may be present, according to the origin of the formulation. Talc may also contain several mineral contaminants (eg, magnesite, dolomite, kaolinite, calcite, chlorite, serpentine, and quartz); medicinal talc is asbestos-free [ 4].