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.
KeywordsLymphatic Vessel Thoracic Duct Pleural Cavity Medium Chain Triglyceride Azygos Vein
- Cerfolio RJ (2003) Ligation of the thoracic duct for chylothorax. CTSNet, Inc. Available at http://www.ctsnet.org/sections/clinicalresources/thoracic/expert_tech-19.html
- Doerr CH, Allen MS, Nichols 3rd FC, Ryu JH (2005) Etiology of chylothorax in 203 patients. Mayo Clin Proc 80:867–870Google Scholar
- Malthaner RA, Inculet RI (2002) The thoracic duct and chylothorax. In: Pearson FG, Cooper JD, Deslauriers J, Ginsberg RJ, Hiebert CA, Patterson GA, Urschel HC Jr (eds) Thoracic surgery. Churchill Livingston, New York/Edinburgh/London/PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
- Zabeck H, Muley T, Dienemann H, Hoffmann H (2010) Management of chylothorax in adults: when is surgery indicated? Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 58:1–4Google Scholar