IMPACT – International Multicentre Pleural reseArch CollaboraTive

CRC Chairs:
Uffe Bødtger (Zealand University Hospital, Roskilde & Naestved, Denmark)
Federico Mei (University Hospital, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy)
Steven Walker (Academic Respiratory Unit, University of Bristol, United Kingdom)
Jane Alexandra Shaw (Biomedical Research Institute and Division of Pulmonology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

Visit the IMPACT website


The International Multicentre Pleural Research Collaborative was established as a CRC in 2016, known then as the International Collaborative Effusion Database (ICE db).

The collaboration was created by Rahul Bhatagar, Julius Jansen, and Nick Maskell, to bring pleural medicine experts and clinicians together to pool data on rare and neglected pleural diseases.

In the first phase, IMPACT (previously ICE db) created the largest international datasets on non-specific pleuritis, eosinophilic effusions, benign effusions, and chylothorax to date. Under the leadership of the new chairs since 2022, the second phase of IMPACT has an expanded mandate which includes pleural infection, pleural procedures, pleural fluid biomarkers, and other topics selected by the membership.

Specific aims

The vision of the IMPACT is to provide an international platform for pleural disease research that has global clinical impact which is relevant to patients.

With this purpose, IMPACT aims specifically to:

  • Build an international network of researchers and experts in pleural disease to guide future research and clinical priorities to improve the life of people living with pleural disease globally.
  • Establish the research priorities of patients suffering from pleural disease, to create a patient-centred approach to future pleural medicine research.
  • Attract new researchers and clinicians to the field of pleural disease.
  • Support and encourage early career researchers through involvement in network activities and provide fellowship opportunities through network-funded projects.

Phase 1 projects

1. Clinical characteristics of chylothorax: results from the International Collaborative Effusion (ICE) database
Summary: First multi-centre study of chylothorax and its associated outcomes, involving 12 sites across 9 countries contributed anonymised data on 77 patients.

2. Investigation and outcomes in patients with non-specific pleuritis: Results from the International Collaborative Effusion (ICE) database
Summary: First multi-centre study of non-specific pleuritis and its associated outcomes, involving 12 sites across 9 countries contributed anonymised data on 187 patients.

3. Clinical Characteristics of Non-Malignant Effusions: Results from the ERS International Collaborative Effusion (ICE) Database. DOI: 10.1183/13993003.congress-2023.PA4437 [manuscript under review].

4. Investigation and outcomes of eosinophilic effusions
Status: Database closed and locked. Currently being analysed.

5. Suspected drug-induced pleural effusions
Status: Database open for submission and for new sites, please contact:

Phase 2 projects under construction

IMPACT will focus on the following topics in Phase 2:

1. Research priorities and clinical practice in pleural medicine: a survey of patients and global pleural experts.

2. Pleural infection: microbiology, interventions, antibiotics, intrapleural therapy and outcomes.

3. Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax: drainage systems, chest tubes, autologous blood patch pleurodesis for persistent air leaks: international practices and outcomes.

4. Pleural Malignancy: timing and choice of pleurodesis and indwelling pleural catheters, patients’ perspectives: international practices and outcomes.

5. Recurrent pleural effusion: diagnostic pathways, CT and PET-CT, new diagnostic biomarkers, biobank.

6. Enriching the retrospective ICE databases with prospective data.


IMPACT is composed of:

  • Chairs: Uffe Bødtger, Federico Mei, Steven Walker, Jane Shaw.
  • International Scientific Advisory Committee: Rahul Bhatnagar, Kevin Blyth, Marios Froudarakis, Coenie Koegelenberg, Christian B Laursen, YC Gary Lee, Fabien Maldonado, Nick Maskell, Mohammed Munavvar, Jose Porcel, Najib Rahman.
  • General membership: currently representing 40 institutions, in 22 countries, on 5 continents.


If you are interested in more information about the CRC IMPACT or would like to join the network, please contact