Chylothorax

Case contributed by Dr Maxime St-Amant

Presentation

Post-operative status of a thoraco-abdominal aorta aneurysm repair.

Patient Data

Age: 85 years
Gender: Female
CT

There is a moderate left pleural effusion of water density (around 11 HU), which is a non-specific finding in this post-operative patient. However, the effusion is strangely wavy instead of having the usual crescent shape. This does not necessarily correlate with chylothorax, but it makes us more suspicious of the diagnosis in the context of a possible peri-operative thoracic duct laceration. 

Case Discussion

Chylothorax is suspected on clinical grounds, as in this patient. Pleural puncture and pleural fluid analysis confirmed the diagnosis.

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Case information

rID: 19057
Published: 3rd Aug 2012
Last edited: 29th Nov 2019
System: Vascular, Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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