Pleural effusion in patients with end-stage liver disease who are candidates for transplant

Mustafa Ilgaz Doğrul, Sule Akçay, Şerife Savaş Bozbaş, Balam Er Dedekargınoğlu, Füsun Öner Eyüboğlu, Gökhan Moray, Mehmet Haberal
Experimental and Clinical Transplantation 2014, 12: 149-52

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine the rate of occurrence and features of pleural effusion in patients referred to our institution for liver transplant.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included 135 patients (43 women, 92 men) with a mean age of 40 years (range, 16-66 y). Patient characteristics such as history of pulmonary disease and types of respiratory symptoms were recorded. The chest radiographs of every study patient were examined.

RESULTS: Of the 135 study patients, 16 (11.9%) had respiratory symptoms upon admission to the hospital, and 49 (36.3%) had abnormalities on their chest radiographs. The most common radiographic abnormality was elevated right hemidiaphragm in 32 patients (23.7%), followed by pleural effusion in 22 (16.2%), atelectasis in 21 (15.5%), hilar enlargement in 18 (13.3%), and elevated left hemidiaphragm in 9 (6.6%). Seventeen of 22 patients (77.3%) had right pleural effusion, 4 (18.2%) had bilateral, and 1 (4.5%) had left pleural effusion. Of the 10 patients undergoing thoracentesis, 9 had transudates and 1 had an exudate.

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative pleural effusion is a common problem in patients who are candidates for a liver transplant. Most of these patients have right transudative pleural effusion.

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