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Revista de Gastroenterología del Perú

Print version ISSN 1022-5129


ORTEGA QUIROZ, Rolando J et al. Hepatic hydrothorax: presentation of 3 cases with different therapeutic approaches. Rev. gastroenterol. Perú [online]. 2019, vol.39, n.1, pp.64-69. ISSN 1022-5129.

Hepatic hydrothorax is uncommon transudative pleural effusion greater than 500 ml in association with cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Ascites is also present in most of the patients and the pathophysiology include the passage of ascites fluid through small diaphragmatic defects. After diagnostic thoracentesis studies, the first line management is restricting sodium intake and diuretics combination including stepwise dose of spironolactone plus furosemide. Therapeutic thoracentesis is a simple and effective procedure to relief dyspnea. Hepatic hydrothorax is refractory in approximately 20-25% and treatments options include repeated thoracentesis, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) placement, chemical pleurodesis with repair diaphragmatic defects using video-assisted thoracoscopy surgery (VATS), and insertion of an indwelling pleural catheter. Chest tube insertion carries significant morbidity and mortality with questionable benefit. Hepatic transplantation remains the best treatment option with long term survival. We present three cases of hepatic hydrothorax with different therapeutic approach including first line management, failed chest tube insertion and TIPS placement.

Keywords : Hydrothorax; Diuretics; Pleurodesis; Liver transplantation.

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