UMMS Affiliation

Graduate Medical Education

Publication Date


Document Type



Digestive System Diseases | Gastroenterology | Health Services Administration | Hepatology | Respiratory Tract Diseases | Surgical Procedures, Operative | Therapeutics


There are only a few studies with a small sample size of patients that have compared the risks of using chest tubes versus thoracentesis in hepatic hydrothorax. It has been shown that many complications may arise secondary to chest tube placement and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. In this retrospective study, patients with cirrhosis were identified from the 2009 National Inpatient Sample by using ICD-9 codes; we evaluated the risk of chest tube versus thoracentesis in a largest population with hepatic hydrothorax to date to measure the mortality and the length of stay. A total of 140,573 patients with liver cirrhosis were identified. Of this, 1981 patients had a hepatic hydrothorax and ended up with either thoracentesis (1776) or chest tube (205). The mortality in those who received a chest tube was two times higher than that in thoracentesis group with a P value of < /=0.001 (CI 1.43-312). In addition, the length of hospital stay of the chest tube group was longer than that of the thoracentesis subset (7.2 days versus 3.8 days, resp.). We concluded that chest tube placement has two times higher mortality rate and longer hospital length of stay when compared to patients who underwent thoracentesis.

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2017 Ali Ridha et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2017;2017:5872068. doi: 10.1155/2017/5872068. Epub 2017 Nov 28. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Gastroenterology research and practice

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.