Malignant Pleural Effusion

  • Antonia Marazioti
  • Georgios T. Stathopoulos


Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) poses a significant clinical problem annually affecting two million patients worldwide. MPE is most commonly caused by pleural metastasis of lung, breast, gastrointestinal, and other tumors, as opposed to the development of primary pleural-based malignancies, which are more infrequent. The appearance of a MPE in a patient with cancer signals systemic disease, short survival, and poor quality of life. Under normal conditions, the pleural space contains small amounts of fluid that are dynamically regulated by production via systemic blood vessel filtration and by lymphatic absorption. Any tumor-induced distortion of the pleural fluid production, circulation, and clearance process may result in MPE. Until recently, tumor-mediated obstruction of normal pleural fluid absorption was considered to be the most important path to MPE. However, recent advancements in experimental modeling of MPE indicate that tumor-induced inflammation, angiogenesis, and vascular hyperpermeability critically drive MPE formation independent from anatomical blockade of pleural fluid turnover. In this regard, different research groups have established novel experimental models mimicking human pleural malignancies, including models of human cancer induced-MPE in immunocompromized animals as well as mouse cancer-induced MPE in immunocompetent mice. These modeling approaches have expanded the field of pleural cancer research and will be addressed in detail in the present chapter.


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Pleural Fluid Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural Cavity Lewis Lung Carcinoma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece

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