Anesthetic considerations for medical pleuroscopy

Rutuja R. Sikachi, Udit Chaddha, Abhinav Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Pleuroscopy, also known as medical thoracoscopy or local anesthesia thoracoscopy, is a commonly utilized procedure in the growing field of interventional pulmonology and considered a required procedure as part of the interventional pulmonology fellowship curriculum. Pleuroscopy is mainly utilized for parietal pleural biopsies in patients with undiagnosed pleural effusions, with a comparable diagnostic yield to video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) (>92%). Pleuroscopy is also performed for talc insufflation for pleurodesis, indwelling pleural catheter insertion, and rarely for decortication in patients with stage 2 empyema. Though these procedures can be done under local anesthesia with moderate sedation, an increasing number of cases are being performed with the presence of the anesthesiologist providing monitored anesthesia care (MAC). Given that a significant number of patients undergoing pleuroscopy will have significant co-morbidities, proceduralists and anesthesiologists must be prepared to manage these cases in a non-OR setup. In this article, we discuss some of the technical aspects of pleuroscopy, and highlight the peri-operative considerations for proceduralists and anesthesiologists in managing these patients including the role of ultrashort sedatives and intraoperative procedural and anesthetic considerations. We also discuss the upcoming adjunctive role of local and regional anesthesia techniques in management of these patients. In addition, we summarize the current data regarding various regional anesthesia techniques and discuss avenues for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107225
JournalRespiratory Medicine
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Anesthesia
  • Erector spinae block
  • Pain
  • Pleuroscopy
  • Regional anesthesia


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