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Ann Intern Med. 1988 Mar;108(3):345-9.

Pleural fluid pH in malignant effusions. Diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications.

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1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether the measurement of pleural fluid pH in malignant effusions has diagnostic use, predicts survival, and has therapeutic implications.

DESIGN:

A prospective comparison of cytologic examinations and pleural biopsy results, survival, and response to chemical pleurodesis with tetracycline in patients with normal-pH (7.30 or greater) and low-pH (less than 7.30) malignant pleural effusions.

SETTING:

Academic medical center, university referral hospital, city hospital, and Veterans Administration hospital.

PATIENTS:

Sixty patients with malignant pleural effusions, proven at either initial thoracentesis by cytologic examination or within 4 months of initial thoracentesis by repeat thoracentesis, thoracotomy, or autopsy, were followed until death.

INTERVENTION:

Twenty-one patients, 12 with normal pleural fluid pH and 9 with low pleural fluid pH, were treated with tube thoracostomy and intrapleural tetracycline for symptomatic, recurrent pleural effusions.

MAIN RESULTS:

The 20 patients with low-pH malignant effusions had a significantly greater positivity on initial pleural fluid cytologic evaluation, a shorter mean survival, and a poorer response to tetracycline pleurodesis compared with 40 patients with normal-pH malignant effusions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Determination of pleural fluid pH in malignant effusions provides a rational approach to further diagnostic testing, prognostic information, and a rationale for palliative treatment.

PMID:
3341671
DOI:
10.7326/0003-4819-108-3-345
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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