Table 13.13-2. Pleural fluid differential cell counts and possible associated diseases

Neutrophil predominance

– Parapneumonic effusion

– Pulmonary embolism

– Early tuberculous pleuritis

– Benign asbestos pleural effusion

Lymphocyte predominance

– Malignancy

– Tuberculous pleuritis

– Lymphoma

– Cardiac failure

– Post–coronary bypass graft

– Rheumatoid effusion

– Chylothorax

– Uremic pleuritis

– Sarcoidosis

– Yellow nail syndrome

– Pulmonary embolism

Eosinophilia (≥10% of nucleated cells)

– Parapneumonic effusion

– Drug-induced pleuritis

– Benign asbestos pleural effusion

– Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis

– Lymphoma

– Pulmonary embolism

– Parasitic infestation

– Malignancy

Pleural eosinophilia is a relatively nonspecific finding.

Adapted from Thorax. 2010;65 Suppl 2:ii4-17.