Source Control pp 206-207 | Cite as

Invited Commentary

  • J. David Richardson


Hau and Förster stress that empyema can be divided into three phases: exudative, fibrinopurulent, and organizing. While this is certainly classic teaching and appears in all textbooks on thoracic surgery, I find it is often of little benefit in caring for patients with empyema. Furthermore, over-reliance on this progressive pathophysiologic concept may suggest that there is an orderly progression from one phase to another, while in fact there is not. The authors note that the organizing or chronic phase is variable in length, and I believe this point deserves double emphasis.


  1. 1.
    Richardson, JD, Carrillo, E (1997) Thoracic infection after trauma. Chest Surg Clin N Am 7:401–427PubMedGoogle Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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  • J. David Richardson

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