Pleural effusion in liver disease.

Link to article at PubMed

Pleural effusion in liver disease.

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Dec;31(6):698-705

Authors: Alonso JC

Hepatic hydrothorax is the paradigmatic pleural effusion in liver cirrhosis. It is defined as a pleural effusion in a patient with portal hypertension and no cardiopulmonary disease. The estimated prevalence of this complication in patients with liver cirrhosis is 5 to 6%. Its pathophysiology involves movement of ascitic fluid from the peritoneal cavity into the pleural space through diaphragmatic defects. Thoracentesis and pleural fluid analysis are necessary for diagnosis. Initial management consists of sodium restriction, diuretics, and therapeutic thoracentesis. A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt may provide a bridge prior to liver transplantation. Spontaneous bacterial empyema is the infection of a preexisting hydrothorax. The more frequent bacteria involved are ENTEROBACTERIACEAE and gram-positive cocci. Antibiotic therapy is the cornerstone of therapy. This article reviews etiology, clinical manifestations, and therapy of these two complications of liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension.

PMID: 21213201 [PubMed - in process]

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