Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 7;12(1):11502. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-15480-4.
Cough during therapeutic thoracentesis (TT) is considered an adverse effect. The study was aimed to evaluate the relationship between cough during TT and pleural pressure (Ppl) changes (∆P). Instantaneous Ppl was measured after withdrawal of predetermined volumes of pleural fluid. Fluid withdrawal (FW) and Ppl measurement (PplM) periods were analyzed separately using the two sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and the nonparametric skew to assess differences between ∆P distributions in periods with and without cough. The study involved 59 patients, median age 66 years, median withdrawn fluid volume 1800 mL (1330 ÷ 2400 mL). In total, 1265 cough episodes were recorded in 52 patients, in 24% of FW and 19% of PplM periods, respectively. Cough was associated with significant changes in ∆P distribution (p < 0.001), decreasing the left tail of ∆P distribution for FW periods (the skew = - 0.033 vs. - 0.182) and increasing the right tail for PplM periods (the skew = 0.182 vs. 0.088). Although cough was more frequent in 46 patients with normal pleural elastance (p < 0.0001), it was associated with significantly higher ∆P in patients with elevated elastance (median Ppl increase 2.9 vs. 0.2 cmH2O, respectively). Cough during TT is associated with small but beneficial trend in Ppl changes, particularly in patients with elevated pleural elastance, and should not be considered solely as an adverse event.