Chylothorax is a rare condition that results from thoracic duct damage with chyle leakage from the lymphatic system into the pleural space, usually on the right side. It first manifests as a pleural effusion, and although can have multiple causes, a chyle leak usually is a result of injury at the time of surgery. Definitive diagnosis involves cholesterol and triglyceride measurement in the pleural fluid. Complications include malnutrition, immunosuppression and respiratory distress. Treatment may be either conservative or aggressive depending on the clinical scenario. In this review, we discuss the etiologies, diagnostic methods, and treatment modalities of chylothorax.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 2012
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