Medical thoracoscopy for pleural diseases

Matsuo So, Udit Chaddha, Samira Shojaee, Pyng Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewThe purpose of this review is to elaborate on the role of medical thoracoscopy for various diagnostic and therapeutic parietal pleural interventions. The renewed interest in medical thoracoscopy has been boosted by the growth of the field of interventional pulmonology and, possibly, well tolerated and evolving anesthesia.Recent findingsMedical thoracoscopy to obtain pleural biopsies is established largely as a safe and effective diagnostic procedure. Recent data suggest how a pragmatic biopsy-first approach in specific cancer scenarios may be patient-centered. The current scope of medical thoracoscopy for therapeutic interventions other than pleurodesis and indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) placement is limited. In this review, we discuss the available evidence for therapeutic indications and why we must tread with caution in certain scenarios.SummaryThis article reviews contemporary published data to highlight the best utility of medical thoracoscopy as a diagnostic procedure for undiagnosed exudative effusions or effusions suspected to be secondary to cancers or tuberculosis. The potentially therapeutic role of medical thoracoscopy in patients with pneumothorax or empyema warrants further research focusing on patient-centered outcomes and comparisons with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • local anesthesia
  • malignant pleural effusion
  • medical thoracoscopy
  • pleural infection
  • pneumothorax


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