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Open Access Chylothorax

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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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Keywords: Chylothorax; chyle leak; etiologies; immunosuppression; lymphangiography; lymphatic leak; pleural effusion; pleural fluid; pleural space; thoracic duct

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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  • Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances on respiratory diseases and its related areas e.g. pharmacology, pathogenesis, clinical care, and therapy. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians in respiratory medicine.
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