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The rising incidence and high morbidity of pleural infection remain a significant challenge to health care systems worldwide. With distinct microbiology and treatment paradigms from pneumonia, pleural infection is an area in which the evidence base has been rapidly evolving. Progress in recent years has revolved around characterizing the microbiome of pleural infection and the addition of new strategies such as intrapleural enzyme therapy to the established treatment pathway of drainage and antibiotics. The future of improving outcomes lies with personalizing treatment, establishing optimal timing of intrapleural agents and surgery, alongside wider use of risk stratification to guide treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinics in chest medicine

Publication Date





637 - 647


Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Department of Respiratory Medicine, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK. Electronic address: