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Is chest tube insertion with ultrasound guidance safe in patients using clopidogrel?


Wissam Abouzgheib, Cooper University Hospital, 3 Cooper Plaza Suite 312, Camden, NJ 08103, USA. Email:


Background and objective:  Drainage of the pleural space is a common procedure. The safety of chest tube insertion in patients using clopidogrel has not been investigated.

Methods:  Ultrasound-guided chest tube insertions performed on 24 patients who were being actively treated with clopidogrel were retrospectively reviewed.

Results:  No excessive bleeding occurred in any of these patients.

Conclusions:  Given the known effects of clopidogrel on platelet function, these results were interpreted as indicating that clopidogrel therapy is a relative but not an absolute contraindication to chest tube insertion, if an experienced operator places a small-bore tube under ultrasound guidance.