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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 106-110

Significant pleural effusion in congestive heart failure necessitating pleural drainage

1 Department of Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology Unit, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Eyo Effiong Ekpe
Department of Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 1136, Uyo, Akwa Ibom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0189-7969.152020

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Background: Pleural effusion is very common in congestive heart failure, and should resolve with treatment of congestive heart failure, including diuretic. However, refractory, recurrent, massive, or significant pleural effusions contributing to symptoms in the patients with congestive heart failure warrant treatment by pleural drainage. We sought to discover the clinic-pathologic characteristic of such pleural effusion in our congestive heart failure patients. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of medical records of congestive heart failure patients admitted for inpatient treatment between January 2007 and June 2011. Results: Out of the 342 patients that presented with congestive heart failure during the study period, ten (2.9%) patients had significant pleural effusions in 12 pleural spaces that contributed to symptoms and refused to resolve on treatment of the congestive heart failure including diuretic. Male:Female was 1.2:1, modal age range 40-50 years, 50% in the left, 30% in the right, and 20% bilateral. The estimate of the pleural effusion was <1000 ml->2000 ml with 90% being transudate and 10% exudates. One patient had associated pericardial effusion. Upon drainage, 70% of the patients improved immediately. Conclusion: We recommend drainage of refractory, recurrent, massive, significant pleural effusion in congestive heart failure contributing to symptoms and responding to diuretic therapy.

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