Diagnostic Yield of Medical Thoracoscopy in Undiagnosed Exudative Pleural Effusion- A Tertiary Centre Experience from Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh, IndiaCorrespondence Address :
Dr. Mohammad Arif,
Flat No. 305, IT Grand Apartment, Medical Road, Zakariya Market, Aligarh-202001, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Pleural effusions are one of the most common entities encountered by pulmonologists worldwide which have a very long list of causes. Initial workup of these patients begins with a chest X-ray and percutaneous or Ultrasound (USG) guided thoracocentesis followed by biochemical and cytological evaluation of the fluid to ascertain the cause of effusion. A 20 to 25% of cases remain undiagnosed even after thoracocentesis and closed pleural biopsy. Medical Thoracoscopy is emerging as a safe diagnostic procedure in these patients.
Aim: To detect the diagnostic yield of medical thoracoscopy in cases of undiagnosed exudative lymphocytic pleural effusion and to study the complications associated with it.
Materials and Methods: This was a prospective observational study, carried out in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, JN Medical College and hospital, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, from August 2016 to August 2018. Undiagnosed exudative pleural effusion was defined as pleural effusion with Adenosine Deaminase (ADA) levels less than 70 IU/L and negative pleural fluid cytology for malignancy. Thoracoscopic examination of the pleural space using flexi-rigid thoracoscopy was done and biopsy was taken from suspected areas and the tissue obtained, was send for histopathological examination. The results were presented as mean±SD (Standard Deviation) or percentage. Differences in categorical data were compared using the chi-square test or the Fisher-exact test. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Fifty patients underwent thoracoscopy for undiagnosed pleural effusion. Most common gross thoracoscopy finding was nodules which was seen in 23 patients. Malignancy was the most common histopathological finding, seen in 22 patients. Minor complications were seen in five patients. A final diagnosis could be made in 41 patients; the diagnostic yield was 82%.
Conclusion: Medical thoracoscopy should be performed in all patients in which radiological and pleural fluid examinations could not lead to a definitive diagnosis as it has high sensitivity and a very low rate of complications.
Pleuroscopy, Pleural biopsy, Thoracocentesis, Undiagnosed pleural fluid
Date of Submission: Apr 14, 2020
Date of Peer Review: May 18, 2020
Date of Acceptance: Jun 23, 2020
Date of Publishing: Sep 01, 2020
• Financial or Other Competing Interests: None
• Was Ethics Committee Approval obtained for this study? Yes
• Was informed consent obtained from the subjects involved in the study? Yes
• For any images presented appropriate consent has been obtained from the subjects. Yes
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