, Volume 195, Issue 6, pp 775–779 | Cite as

Prognosis of Cancer with Synchronous or Metachronous Malignant Pleural Effusion

  • José M. PorcelEmail author
  • Cristina Solé
  • Antonieta Salud
  • Silvia Bielsa



Malignant pleural effusions (MPE) may either coincide with or follow the diagnosis of a primary tumor. Whether this circumstance influences prognosis has not been well substantiated.


Retrospective review of all consecutive patients who were cared for at a Spanish university hospital during an 11-year period and received a diagnosis of MPE.


Of 401 patients, the MPE was the first evidence of cancer in 265 (66%), and it followed a previously diagnosed neoplasm in 136 (34%). Lung cancer predominated in the former group (131, 50%), and breast cancer in the latter (55, 40%). MPE that were the presenting manifestation of hematological and ovarian tumors had a statistically significant survival advantage as compared to those which developed in patients from a previously known cancer (respective absolute differences of 41 and 20 months; p < 0.005).


In hematological and ovarian malignancies, the synchronous or metachronous diagnosis of MPE may have prognostic implications.


Malignant pleural effusion Lung cancer Breast cancer Ovarian cancer Lymphoma Survival Pleural procedures 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest with the current study.

Ethical Approval

All studies performed in human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the Helsinki declaration.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • José M. Porcel
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Cristina Solé
    • 1
  • Antonieta Salud
    • 2
    • 3
  • Silvia Bielsa
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Pleural Medicine Unit, Department of Internal MedicineArnau de Vilanova University HospitalLleidaSpain
  2. 2.Institute for Biomedical Research Dr Pifarre Foundation, IRBLLEIDALleidaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Medical OncologyArnau de Vilanova University HospitalLleidaSpain

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