Hepatic hydrothorax.

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Hepatic hydrothorax.

Am J Ther. 2014 Jan-Feb;21(1):43-51

Authors: Baikati K, Le DL, Jabbour II, Singhal S, Anand S

Hepatic hydrothorax is defined as a pleural effusion in patients with liver cirrhosis in the absence of cardiopulmonary disease. The estimated prevalence among patients with liver cirrhosis is approximately 5-6%. The pathophysiology involves the passage of ascitic fluid from the peritoneal cavity to the pleural space through diaphragmatic defects. The diagnosis is made from clinical presentation and confirmed by diagnostic thoracentesis with pleural fluid analysis. The initial medical management is sodium restriction and diuretics, but liver transplantation provides the only definitive therapy. For patients who are not transplant candidates and those who await organ availability, other therapeutic modalities that are to be considered include transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt placement, videoassisted thoracoscopic surgery repair, pleurodesis, and vasoconstrictors (eg, octreotide and terlipressin). The primary therapeutic goals are to reduce ascitic fluid production and improve symptoms to bridge the time for liver transplantation.

PMID: 23085762 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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