Chylothorax is an infrequent but important form of pleural effusion. The most common causes are of postoperative and neoplastic origin. No prospective or randomized trials have been performed to evaluate the available treatment options for chylothorax. The basic principles of conservative treatment include drainage of the effusion and dietary measures. Chylothorax is typically treated conservatively. In the case of failure of conservative treatment, interventional radiological or surgical procedures are applied. Untreated chylothorax has a high morbidity and mortality.
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