WHEN the American Association for Thoracic Surgery met in Detroit in May 1946, there were 3 patients with empyema of tuberculous origin in the Henry Ford Hospital. One patient had been under treatment for six years, another for three and a half years and the third for two months. In November of the same year all 3 had been discharged. This favorable turn of events was made possible by the application of the operation of pulmonary decortication to tuberculous empyema, as suggested by Gurd1 at the meeting just mentioned.
No attempt will be made to present even a partial review of the literature on the subject of tuberculous empyema. A recent paper2 gave references to eighty-two articles which have appeared since 1930. Most of the authors have admitted that the current plans of treatment left much to be desired. Not infrequently, when the subject has been discussed at
LAM CR. DECORTICATION OF THE LUNG IN THE TREATMENT OF TUBERCULOUS EMPYEMA. Arch Surg. 1948;56(1):1-13. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1948.01240010004001