Hepatic hydrothorax without ascites as the first sign of liver cirrhosis

2016 Respirology Case Reports 4;1 (16-18)

A 60-year-old woman without a history of liver diseases, but with a history of regular alcohol consumption, presented with a right-sided transudative pleural effusion. Neither parenchymal lung lesion nor pleural thickening was seen on a chest computed tomography. On abdominal ultrasonography, the liver size and contour were normal, and ascites was not noted. Despite performing imaging and laboratory studies, we could not find a cause of the pleural effusion. Thus, due to her history of regular alcohol consumption, we decided to measure liver stiffness using a transient elastography (Fibroscan((R)), Echosens(TM), Paris, France), which showed a value of 35.3 kPa suggestive of liver cirrhosis. An intraperitoneal injection of a radioisotope demonstrated the transdiaphragmatic flow of fluid from peritoneal cavity to pleural cavity. The diagnosis was confirmed as hepatic hydrothorax. Management consisting of restricted salt and water intake with diuretics resulted in resolution of the hepatic hydrothorax.

Pubmed : 26839695