There are two myths that have persisted about thoracentesis and pleural fluid analysis that must be dispelled. The first myth is that a large volume thoracentesis should not remove more than 1,500 mL fluid due to the risk of re-expansion…
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Thoracentesis is one of the most common bedside procedures performed in U.S. hospitals.  There are about 173,000 thoracenteses performed each year in the U.S.  A systematic review and meta-analysis in 2010 concluded that thoracentesis-related pneumothorax occurs 6% of the time…
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Complicated parapneumonic effusions frequently represent pleural space infections. Approximately 1 in 7 cases of pneumonia have an associated parapneumonic effusion (PPE) on chest x-ray. Most of these effusions are small and usually resolve spontaneously with prompt antibiotic administration. However, moderate-to-large…
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How to Differentiate Pleural Effusion Exudates from Transudates   Historically, Light’s criteria have been used to classify pleural effusions into transudates or exudates.  Light’s criteria were established by Dr. Richard Light in 1972.[1]  These criteria maximize sensitivity but have a…
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This blog summarizes a recent update reviewing current management recommendations for hepatic hydrothorax (HH).  Hepatic hydrothorax is a complication of decompensated cirrhosis with portal hypertension.  Sixty percent of patients accumulate both ascitic fluid and pleural fluid as a result of portal…
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How to Differentiate Pleural Effusion Exudates from Transudates Historically, Light’s criteria have been used to classify pleural effusions into transudates or exudates.  Light’s criteria were established by Dr. Richard Light in 1972.[1]  These criteria maximize sensitivity but have a lower…
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