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Hydrothorax
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 J94.8
ICD-9 511.8
DiseasesDB 10122
MeSH D006876

A hydrothorax is a condition that results from serous fluid accumulating in the pleural cavity. This specific condition can be related to cirrhosis with ascites in which ascitic fluid leaks into the pleural cavity. Hepatic hydrothorax is often difficult to manage in end-stage liver failure and often fails to respond to therapy.

In similar pleural effusions, hemothorax this fluid is blood (as in major chest injuries), in pyothorax the fluid is pus (resulting from chest infections), and in chylothorax it is lymph fluid (resulting from rupture of the thoracic duct).

Treatment

Treatment of hydrothorax is difficult for several reasons. The underlying condition needs to be corrected, however often the source of the hydrothorax is end stage liver disease and corrected only by transplant. Chest tube placement should not occur. Other measures such as a TIPS procedure are more effective as they treat the etiology of the hydrothorax, however have complications such as worsened hepatic encephalopathy.

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