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Clin Chest Med. 2006 Jun;27(2):309-19.

The undiagnosed pleural effusion.

Author information

1
Vanderbilt University, T-1218 Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232-2659, USA. rlight98@yahoo.com

Abstract

The most common causes for undiagnosed transudative effusions are congestive heart failure and hepatic hydrothorax. Pleural fluid N terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels higher than 1500 pg/mL are virtually diagnostic of congestive heart failure. The most common causes for undiagnosed exudative pleural effusions are malignancy, pulmonary embolism, and tuberculosis. Clinical characteristics of patients with a malignant pleural effusion are symptoms for more than 1 month, absence of fever, blood-tinged pleural fluid, and CT findings suggestive of malignancy. Thoracoscopy is useful to establish the diagnosis of malignancy and tuberculosis.

PMID:
16716820
DOI:
10.1016/j.ccm.2005.12.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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