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Chest. 1990 Jul;98(1):20-3.

Amyloidosis and pleural disease.

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Department of Pulmonary Disease, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.


Pleural involvement with systemic amyloidosis has been reported rarely in the literature. Diagnosis of this entity by percutaneous needle biopsy of the pleura has been described only in two prior case reports. We describe five patients in whom the diagnosis of pleural amyloidosis was established by Cope needle biopsy during evaluation of pleural effusions of indeterminate cause. Three patients presented with a history suggestive of multiorgan disease and a pleural biopsy performed despite a transudative effusion demonstrated amyloid infiltration of the pleura, obviating the need for other organ biopsies. We conclude that in patients with pleural effusions, if history suggests multiorgan involvement and there is suspicion for amyloidosis, then a closed pleural biopsy with special stains for amyloid should be performed even if the effusions are transudative. This may be the diagnostic procedure of choice in such patients.

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