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Effect of an intrathoracic injection of sodium hyaluronic acid on the prevention of pleural thickening in excess fluid of tuberculous thoracic cavity

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1. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a hyaluronate-based gel (HAbg) on the prevention of pleural thickening and adhesion in tuberculous pleural effusions (TPE).

2. Fifty-two patients who had accumulated a medium or large volume of tuberculous thoracic fluid, fluid being bound by fibre tissues and a pleura thickened more than 2 mm were divided randomly into two groups. All patients were all given standard treatments with antituberculous drugs. The HAbg was injected into the thoracic cavity in the treatment group (n = 27 patients), whereas normal saline was introduced into the thoracic cavity in the control group (n = 25 patients). Before and after HAbg injection, routine thoracic fluid examiniations (including qualitative protein analysis, cell counts and classification of cell types) and protein quantification were performed. A chest radiograph and B-ultrasound were performned and pulmonary function was tested after 2 weeks and 3 months of thoracic fluid absorption.

3. The results show that patients who were treated with the HAbg had a significantly thinner pleura, a lower protein concentration and white blood cell count in the thoracic fluid and a higher forced expiratory volume in 1 s and forced vital capacity compared with patients in the control group.

4. Intrathoracic HAbg can prevent pleural thickening and improve lung function in patients who have a large amount of TPE.
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Keywords: pleural thickening; sodium hyaluronic acid; tuberculosis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Respiratory Diseases, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical College, Zhangjing, China

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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