Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Med. 1999 Sep;107(3):262-7.

Hepatic hydrothorax: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Hepatic hydrothorax is defined as a pleural effusion in a patient with cirrhosis of the liver and no cardiopulmonary disease. The estimated prevalence of this often debilitating complication in patients with liver cirrhosis is 4% to 10%. Its pathophysiology involves movement of ascitic fluid from the peritoneal cavity into the pleural space through diaphragmatic defects. As a result patients are at increased risk of respiratory infection. Initial management consists of sodium restriction, diuretics, and thoracentesis. A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt may be required. Because most patients with hepatic hydrothorax have end-stage liver disease, a liver transplant should be considered if these options fail.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center