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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 1998  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 113-114

Cholesterol In Pleural Effusions : A Parameter To Distinguish Exudates And Transudates



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S Chander


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Forty four consecutive patients of pleural effusion were analyzed for pleural fluid protein, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and cholesterol levels. The patients were classified into transudates (n=16) and exudates (n=28) based on the Lights criterion. Pleural fluid cholesterol levels (PCHOL) determined in the transudative and exudative groups were found to be 35.4 ± 6.8 mg/100 ml and 80.3 ± 11.6 mg/100 ml respectively. This difference was found to be statistically significant (p<0.001). Similarly the ratio of pleural fluid to serum cholesterol values (P/SCHOL) was 0.17 ± 0.02 and 0.63 ± 0.09 in the transudative and exudative groups respectively which was also statistically significant (p< 0.001). With a cut off value of 55 mg/l00 ml for pleural fluid cholesterol and 0.3 for P/SCHOL ratio, the number of patients misclassified was one and none respectively, thereby showing that PCHOL and P/SCHOL determinations provide a sensitivity of 96.6% and 100% respectively. It is, therefore, suggested that PCHOL (value of > 50 mg/100 ml and P/SCHOL ratio of > 0.3 might be considered as indicative of exudative pleural effusion.


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