Upstate Carolina Radiology

PleurX Catheter

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A PleurX Catheter (Peritoneal Catheter System) is a home management system that allows patients to drain fluid accumulation, from the chest (pleural fluid) or abdominal cavity (ascites). Pleural fluid is fluid “on the lungs” or build-up of fluid in the chest. This fluid can compress the lungs and make breathing difficult. Ascites is an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity as a result of an imbalance of the plasma flow in the blood and lymphatic vessels. PleurX is used to enable patients to eliminate repeated hospital visits to drain, either pleural fluid or ascites, which may be due to cancer or other disease, including end stage liver disease. The fluid accumulation can cause a great amount of pain, so this system improves the quality of life for the patient.

Indications That Ascites May Be Present

  • Increasing abdominal girth
  • Anorexia
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dyspnea or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen wrist or ankles.

Diagnosis involves blood tests, diagnostic imaging, including ultrasound, CT or MRI, and a paracentesis, drainage, used to analyze the ascites.

Common Uses for PleurX System

PLEURXThe PleurX System is a safe and easy way to drain the pleural fluid or ascites right at home. The outpatient procedure to place the catheter is normally done under local or conscious sedation. A peritoneal catheter, a catheter placed in the lining of the abdomen is put in place by an interventional radiologist under image guidance. A polyester cuff is utilized to promote tissue growth, in order to decrease infection and keep the catheter in place. The catheter has a safety value that is opened by the access tip on the drainage line. This valve helps prevent the entrance of air or fluid into the body. The drainage line is attached to a unique evacuated plastic bottle that will collect the fluid. This process normally takes approximately ten minutes.

Detailed care instructions will be given when the peritoneal catheter procedure is performed. For further questions please visit

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