The Frequency of Various Diseases in Patients Presenting with Pleural Effusion

Muhammad Rehan, Muhammad Tanveer Alam, Khalid Imran, Syed Zea-Ul-Islam Farrukh, Muhammad Masroor, Pawan Kumar


Background: Pleural effusion is a common diagnostic problem. Successful treatment of these cases depends upon establishing the exact etiology. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of clinical features and frequency of various diseases in patients presenting with pleural effusion. Material & Methods: It was a cross sectional study carried out at the Department of Medicine, Civil Hospital Karachi, from to July 2011 to March 2012. Inclusion criteria were all patients above 15 years of age with clinical and radiological evidence of pleural effusion. Patients with history of chest injury or surgical procedures involving pleural cavity were excluded. The demographic variables were gender, age in years and age group. The research variables were breathlessness, fever, cough, chest pain, dependent edema, weight loss, haemoptysis and confusion and cause of pleural effusion. There were four age groups as: 16-30 years, 31-45 years, 46-60 years and more than 60 years. Nominal data was analyzed for frequency and (%) and the numeric data was analyzes by mean, SD and range. Results: Tuberculosis was the most common cause 40(53.33%) of exudative pleural effusions, followed by parapneumonic/empyema 13(17.33%) and malignant effusions 9(12%). Congestive cardiac failure 9(36%) and liver cirrhosis 6(24%) were the commonest causes of transudative pleural effusions. Nephrotic syndrome 4(16%), renal failure 3(12%), systemic lupus erythmatosus 1(1.33%) were other causes of pleural effusion in this study. Conclusion: Due to high incidence of infectious causes, especially tuberculosis, pleural fluid examination should be a routine evaluation in each case of pleural effusion.


Pulmonary tuberculosis; Malignant pleural effusion; Pleural empyema; Pleural neoplasms; Congestive cardiac failure

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