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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1997 Oct 17;122(42):1275-80.

[Refractory hydrothorax in primary biliary cirrhosis: successful treatment with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Abteilung Gastroenterologie und Endokrinologie, Städtische Kliniken Kassel.

Abstract

HISTORY AND CLINICAL FINDINGS:

A 55-year-old woman with known primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) was hospitalized because of increasing dyspnoea. A year before she had for the first time experienced a right-sided pleural effusion which had to be drained every 4 weeks. Physical examination revealed dullness on percussion and greatly decreased breath sounds on auscultation over the entire right thorax. In addition there were signs of moderate ascites and leg oedema.

INVESTIGATIONS:

Chest radiograph showed a homogeneous shadowing of the right thorax without mediastinal shift. Diagnostic thoracocentesis produced a serous effusion, a transudate on chemical analysis, comparable to the composition of the ascitic fluid. Bacteriological and cytological tests on both fluids were unremarkable.

TREATMENT AND COURSE:

The right pleural effusion was presumed to be due to a hydrothorax from the ascites caused by portal hypertension associated with the PBC. Despite continuous diuretic treatment and thoracocentesis with albumin substitution every 3 days there was no improvement and implantation of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt (TIPSS) was performed. This effectively lowered portal pressure and markedly improved the patient's condition so that further thoracocentesis were no longer necessary. 3 weeks after TIPSS implantation she was discharged in good condition. Radiography 3 weeks later demonstrated continued reduction in the hydrothorax.

CONCLUSION:

Hydrothorax is a rare complication of liver cirrhosis. TIPSS implantation can provide lasting resolution and corresponding clinical improvement of a hydrothorax, especially in those conditions which are refractory to diuretic treatment and thoracocentesis.

PMID:
9378063
DOI:
10.1055/s-2008-1047759
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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