Management of Malignant Lung Entrapment, the Oncothorax

Roman Petrov, Charles Bakhos, Abbas E. Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pleural metastasis is a common occurrence in up to 30% of patients with metastatic cancer. When lung entrapment and loculation of fluid occur, treatment is more difficult and we have named this condition “oncothorax.” The malignant adhesions that entrap the lung in an oncothorax are not typically amenable to surgical decortication. The standard approach for managing these patients is to place an indwelling catheter. Other options may include pleurectomy and decortication, intrapleural hyperthermic chemoperfusion, and intrapleural photodynamic therapy. However, these procedures should be provided selectively depending on patient performance status, extent of metastatic disease, and level of experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalThoracic Surgery Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Hyperthermic chemoperfusion
  • Lung entrapment
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Pleural catheter
  • Pleurectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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