Approach to Unclear Exudates

  • Gaëtane Michaud


Approximately 1.5 million pleural effusions are diagnosed each year in the USA. Light’s Criteria are used to categorize the effusions into exudates and transudates on biochemical grounds. This distinction is important as the stratification helps elucidate the most probable etiologies leading to the accumulation of pleural fluid. Despite an appropriate evaluation including pleural fluid analysis, approximately one quarter of patients with exudative effusions will fail to have a cause identified. If medical thoracoscopy is performed and the histologic diagnosis is nonspecific pleuritis, conservative management has been shown to be appropriate.


Pleural Effusion Pleural Fluid Parietal Pleura Pleural Biopsy Parapneumonic Effusion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division on Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineYale New Haven HospitalNew HavenUSA

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