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Chest. 2008 Aug;134(2):375-381. doi: 10.1378/chest.08-0137. Epub 2008 Apr 10.

Yellow nail syndrome: analysis of 41 consecutive patients.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Electronic address: ryu.jay@mayo.edu.
2
Division of Anatomic Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ.
3
Department of Pathology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
4
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Yellow nail syndrome (YNS) is a rare condition defined by the presence of yellow nails associated with lymphedema and/or chronic respiratory manifestations. Several aspects of this disorder remain poorly defined.

METHODS:

We sought to clarify the clinical features and course associated with YNS by analyzing 41 consecutive cases evaluated at a tertiary referral medical center.

RESULTS:

There were 20 men and 21 women; median age at diagnosis was 61 years (range, 18 to 82 years). None had a family history of YNS. All but one patient had chronic respiratory manifestations that included pleural effusions (46%), bronchiectasis (44%), chronic sinusitis (41%), and recurrent pneumonias (22%); 26 patients (63%) had lymphedema. Treatment included rotating antibiotic therapy for bronchiectasis, thoracenteses, oral vitamin E, and corticosteroid therapy. Eight patients underwent surgical management of recurrent pleural effusions including pleurodesis and decortication; two additional patients underwent pleurodesis via tube thoracostomy. The yellow nails improved or resolved in 14 of 25 patients (56%) for whom relevant data were available. Median survival of this cohort using the Kaplan-Meier method was 132 months, significantly lower than (p = 0.01) the control population. Among those still alive (20 patients), the disease appeared stable.

CONCLUSIONS:

In most cases, YNS is an acquired disorder and associated respiratory manifestations are generally manageable with a regimen of medical and surgical treatments. Yellow nails improve in about one half of patients, often without specific therapy.

PMID:
18403655
DOI:
10.1378/chest.08-0137
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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