Approach to Unclear Exudates
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.
KeywordsPleural Effusion Pleural Fluid Parietal Pleura Pleural Biopsy Parapneumonic Effusion