Hepatic Hydrothorax without Apparent Ascites and Dyspnea - A Case Report OD14-OD16
Dr. Jing He,
1505 Fort Clarke Blvd, Apt 14204, Gainesville, FL 32606.
A 78-year-old female with a past medical history of alcoholic cirrhosis was hospitalised with recurrent lower gastrointestinal bleeding due to rectal ulcers. The ulcers were successfully treated with cautery and placement of clips. However, a recurrent large right-sided pleural effusion without apparent ascites and dyspnea were found incidentally during the hospitalisation. The initial fluid analysis was exudate based on Light’s criteria with high protein. The fluid analysis was repeated five days later, after rapid reaccumulation which revealed transudates. Other causes of pleural effusion like heart failure, renal failure or primary pulmonary diseases were excluded. Hepatic hydrothorax was considered and the patient was started with the treatment of Furosemide and Spironolactone. The atypical presentation of hepatic hydrothorax may disguise the diagnosis and delay the treatment. Therefore, for a patient with recurrent, unexplained unilateral pleural effusions, even with atypical fluid characterisation and in the absence of ascites, hepatic hydrothorax should still remain on the top differential with underlying cirrhosis to ensure optimal treatment.