Clinical & Translational Oncology. 2011 Jan;13(1):57-60. [Link]

Galbis JM, Mata M, Guijarro R, Esturi R, Figueroa S, Arnau A.

Thoracic Surgery Service, General University Hospital of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of thoracoscopy in the diagnosis of non-affiliated pleural effusions (PE).

Material and methods: A five-year prospective study including data from 110 patients that were clinically diagnosed as benign (14.5%), malign (34.5%) and non-affiliated (50.9%). PE in patents without oncology disease and negative biopsy or cytology were considered as benign. Malignant diagnosis was established according to a pleural biopsy, compatible cytology and/or clinical features. Remaining cases were considered as non-affiliated. Thoracoscopy was done under local anaesthesia and sedation.

Results: Thoracoscopy confirmed previous clinical diagnosis of benignity and malignity. Regarding non-affiliated patients, 30.35% were diagnosed after thoracoscopy as unspecific pleuritis, 17.86% mesothelioma and 1.79% pleural tuberculosis (TBC). The other 48.21% of patients reported as non-affiliated were diagnosed with pleural carcinoma. Statistical analysis did not reveal differences between frequencies analysed.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that thoracoscopy is a cost-effective and reliable technique for obtaining histological diagnosis in PE and also allows a directed pleurodesis if indicated.