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A CHYLOTHORAX IS CHARACTERIZED BY AN ACCUMULATION OF pleural fluid having a turbid or milky white appearance due to a high lipid and triglyceride content. This continuously draining fluid, called chyle, contains lymphocytes, proteins, and immunoglobulins. Besides incurring respiratory compromise, the loss of fluid through excessive chyle drainage may lead to nutritional, electrolyte, and immunologic complications and is associated with high morbidity and prolonged hospitalization.1 Chylothoraces may be acquired from trauma secondary to intraoperative disruption of either the thoracic duct lymph or its lymphatic tributary or from nontraumatic causes such as malignancies.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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