Exudative Pleural Effusion

Chapter: Exudative Pleural Effusion
McMaster Section Editor(s): Nathan Hambly, Paul M. O’Byrne
Section Editor(s) in Interna Szczeklika: Ewa Niżankowska-Mogilnicka, Filip Mejza
McMaster Author(s): Amornpun Wongkarnjana, Nathan Hambly
Author(s) in Interna Szczeklika: Krzysztof Sładek, Miłosz Jankowski
Additional Information

Also see Pleural Effusion.


Pleural exudate is caused by inflammation or malignancy, leading to high protein and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels.

Causes: Pneumonia (most often bacterial, including tuberculosis; less commonly viral or parasitic pneumonia), malignancy (including ovarian fibroma or sex-cord stromal tumor [Meigs syndrome]), pulmonary embolism (usually serosanguineous fluid is present, almost always accompanied by pulmonary infarction), esophageal perforation, pancreatitis, injuries to lymphatic or vascular systems causing chylothorax or hemothorax, thoracic or abdominal surgery, autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus), drug-induced reactions (amiodarone, nitrofurantoin, phenytoin, methotrexate, carbamazepine, procainamide, propylthiouracil, penicillamine, cyclophosphamide, and bromocriptine), cardiac surgery, and thoracic irradiation.

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