Chest Surgery pp 419-426 | Cite as


  • Heike ZabeckEmail author
Part of the Springer Surgery Atlas Series book series (SPRISURGERY)


Chylothorax is an uncommon clinical disorder defined as lymphatic fluid in the pleural cavity, which may cause severe complications and is difficult to manage. Etiologically, various underlying diseases may be associated with chylothorax. Frequently seen causes of chylothorax are iatrogenic, including postsurgical cases following lung resections with mediastinal lymph node dissection, resections of the esophagus, and other thoracic operations; traumatic causes; malignant diseases; and hepatic cirrhosis. More uncommon causes, such as lymphangioleiomyomatosis and other disorders of the lymphatic system, Gorham’s disease, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, and thoracic irradiation, also may lead to chylothorax. About 6 % of cases are idiopathic.


Lymphatic Vessel Thoracic Duct Pleural Cavity Medium Chain Triglyceride Azygos Vein 
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Selected Bibliography

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Thoracic Surgery, ThoraxklinikUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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