Clinical MythsTo TPC or Not to TPC? Tunneled Pleural Catheters in Nonmalignant Pleural EffusionsMiller, Stacey M. MD; Prakash, Bharat MD; Bellinger, Christina MD; Chin, Robert Jr MDAuthor Information Department of Pulmonary/Critical Care, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston Salem, NC The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose. Address correspondence to: Stacey M. Miller, MD, Department of Pulmonary/Critical Care, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Medical Center Blvd., Winston Salem, NC 27157. E-mail: [email protected]. Clinical Pulmonary Medicine: September 2012 - Volume 19 - Issue 5 - p 232-236 doi: 10.1097/CPM.0b013e3182666c45 Buy Metrics Abstract Tunneled pleural catheters (TPC), such as the PleurX catheter system, have been shown to be effective in the management of recurrent malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) for symptomatic relief. Insertion of a TPC allows patient independence, avoidance of prolonged hospitalizations for classic thoracostomy tube drainage or talc poudrage, and the potential for spontaneous pleurodesis with resolution of the effusion. Currently, guidelines recommend against TPC use in recurrent nonmalignant effusions given that life expectancy is generally longer in patients with benign effusions and the risk of infection increases with time. Several case reports and series have documented the safe and efficacious use of these catheters in non-MPEs. We explore the myth that TPCs should not be used in the management of non-MPEs. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.