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Concept: Pleural effusion



BACKGROUND: A high index of suspicion is required to make this diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis (CP) in patients presenting with cirrhosis and volume overload, as they can otherwise go misdiagnosed for years. METHODS: Case report. FINDINGS: A 51 year-old man with a history of presumed alcoholic cirrhosis presented to the emergency department with anasarca. Abdominal ultrasound with Doppler demonstrated a nodular cirrhotic liver, but no evidence of portal hypertension or ascites. The chest x-ray, however, was significant for a right-sided pleural effusion and pericardial calcification, suggestive of (CP). Transthoracic echocardiogram and ECG-gated computerized tomography scan of the chest without IV contrast confirmed the diagnosis. The patient was referred to thoracic surgery for definitive pericardiectomy. CONCLUSION: The diagnosis of CP is often neglected by admitting physicians, who usually attribute the symptoms to another disease process. Although a multimodality approach is necessary for the diagnosis of CP, this case highlights the utility of chest x-ray, a relatively non-invasive and inexpensive test, in expediting the diagnosis.

Concepts: Heart failure, Echocardiography, Medical imaging, Cirrhosis, Ascites, Pleural effusion, Hepatorenal syndrome, Wilson's disease


Fatigue is a common symptom in healthy and clinical populations, including cancer survivors. However, risk factors for cancer-related fatigue have not been identified. On the basis of research linking stress with other fatigue-related disorders, we tested the hypothesis that stress exposure during childhood and throughout the life span would be associated with fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Stress exposure was assessed using the Stress and Adversity Inventory, a novel computer-based instrument that assesses for 96 types of acute and chronic stressors that may affect health. Results showed that breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue reported significantly higher levels of cumulative lifetime stress exposure, including more stressful experiences in childhood and in adulthood, compared to a control group of nonfatigued survivors. These findings identify a novel risk factor for fatigue in the growing population of cancer survivors and suggest targets for treatment.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Risk, The Canon of Medicine, Pleural effusion, Fatigue


OBJECTIVESA sternal-sparing approach for bilateral lung transplantation was recently applied to reoperative lung transplant cases and is compared with the traditional clamshell approach.METHODSA retrospective analysis of 15 consecutive reoperative bilateral lung transplants performed from January 2008 to April 2011 was conducted. Outcomes were compared between the first 11 patients who underwent the traditional clamshell and the most recent 4 patients who underwent the sternal-sparing approach.RESULTSThe indication for retransplantation was obliterative bronchiolitis in all patients. Both groups were similar with regard to age, allograft ischaemic time and operative time. Cardiopulmonary bypass was more frequent in the sternal-sparing group although required for a shorter period of time. The need for postoperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for primary graft dysfunction was similar in both groups. The length of ICU care and total hospitalization length of stay were similar for the sternal-sparing group compared with the traditional clamshell approach. Operative mortality and overall survival also did not differ.CONCLUSIONSReoperative bilateral lung transplantation with a sternal-sparing approach is feasible and may yield outcomes similar to those in the traditional clamshell approach. Further analysis with larger numbers of patients is warranted to delineate the benefits of this approach for patients requiring reoperative lung transplantation.

Concepts: Time, Pulmonology, Pleural effusion, Organ transplant, Cardiopulmonary bypass, Lung transplantation, Bronchiolitis obliterans, Extracorporeal


The objective of this study was to determine whether the 21-gene Recurrence Score (RS) provides clinically meaningful information in patients with de novo stage IV breast cancer enrolled in the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) 013.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Cancer staging, Pleural effusion, Cancer support group, Janet Lane-Claypon, National Breast Cancer Coalition


Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) affects >90% of mesothelioma patients. Research on MPE has focused on its physical impact on breathlessness; MPE is rich in growth mediators but its contribution to tumour biology has not been investigated. We aimed to examine the potential effects of MPE in promoting growth, migration and chemo-resistance of mesothelioma.

Concepts: Cancer, Biology, Pneumonia, Heart failure, Pleural effusion, Pleurodesis, Thoracentesis


Malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) can complicate most cancers, causing dyspnoea and impairing quality of life (QoL). Indwelling pleural catheters (IPCs) are a novel management approach allowing ambulatory fluid drainage and are increasingly used as an alternative to pleurodesis. IPC drainage approaches vary greatly between centres. Some advocate aggressive (usually daily) removal of fluid to provide best symptom control and chance of spontaneous pleurodesis. Daily drainages however demand considerably more resources and may increase risks of complications. Others believe that MPE care is palliative and drainage should be performed only when patients become symptomatic (often weekly to monthly). Identifying the best drainage approach will optimise patient care and healthcare resource utilisation.

Concepts: Health care, Cancer, Oncology, Medical terms, Patient, Pleural effusion, Symptomatic treatment, Gross domestic product


The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging in differentiating malignant from benign pleural effusion.

Concepts: Pleural effusion


We have conducted a population-based study of pleural mesothelioma patients with occupational histories and measured asbestos lung burdens in occupationally exposed workers and in the general population. The relationship between lung burden and risk, particularly at environmental exposure levels, will enable future mesothelioma rates in people born after 1965 who never installed asbestos to be predicted from their asbestos lung burdens.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Pleural effusion, Derivative, Mesothelioma, Asbestos


Medical thoracoscopy has been shown to be an efficacious procedure in diagnosing unexplained exudative pleural effusions with excellent safety. This study aimed to assess the diagnostic significance of thoracoscopy in the management of patients with malignant pleural effusion (MPE).

Concepts: Pulmonology, Medical terms, Diagnosis, Physician, Pleural effusion, Pleural cavity, Effusion, Thoracoscopy