Povidone-Iodine and Bleomycin in the Management of Malignant Pleural Effusion

  • Ali Asghar Alavi Department of Thoracic Surgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Mohsen Eshraghi Mail Department of Thoracic Surgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Mohammad Bagher Rahim Department of Thoracic Surgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Ali Pasha Meysami Department of Social Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Afsaneh Morteza Farzan Clinical Research Institute, Tehran, Iran.
  • Hanieh Hajian Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Pleural effusion, Bleomycin, Povidone- iodine


Malignant pleural effusion is a common complication in certain malignancies. Pleurodesis is the best option most of the time. The purpose of this study was to compare the choice of belomycin with povidone-iodine, which is not only determined by the efficacy of the agent but also by its cost, accessibility, safety, ease of administration and the number of administrations to achieve a complete response. We performed a randomized clinical trial on 39 patients presenting with symptomatic malignant pleural effusion. Patients were selected and randomly assigned to undergo chemical pleurodesis with either bleomycin or povidone-iodine. Primary characteristics of patients were assessed and graded before and after treatment concerning pain, dyspnea, and chest radiographs. A complete response was obtained in 79% of belomycin group and 75% of povidone-iodine group which was not statistically significant. Patients on belomycin treatment had a significantly lower score for dyspnea in one month follow up. This was significant after controlling for age, pain score and dyspnea score after drainage, using general linear model. Due to similar effect and significant cost advantage between bleomycin and povidone-iodine, we conclude that povidone- iodine is the agent of choice when utilizing pleurodesis for control of symptomatic malignant pleural effusions.


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How to Cite
Alavi AA, Eshraghi M, Rahim MB, Meysami AP, Morteza A, Hajian H. Povidone-Iodine and Bleomycin in the Management of Malignant Pleural Effusion. Acta Med Iran. 49(9):584-587.