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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 160-166

Diagnosis and management options in malignant pleural effusions

1 Department of Respiratory Medicine, J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
3 Department of Radiation Oncology, J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Ramakant Dixit
Department of Respiratory Medicine, J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.201305

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Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) denotes an advanced malignant disease process. Most of the MPE are metastatic involvement of the pleura from primary malignancy at lung, breast, and other body sites apart from lymphomas. The diagnosis of MPE has been traditionally made on cytological examination of pleural fluid and/or histological examination of pleural biopsy tissue that still remains the initial approach in these cases. There has been tremendous advancement in the diagnosis of MPE now a day with techniques i.e. characteristic Ultrasound and computed tomography features, image guided biopsies, fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography imaging, thoracoscopy with direct biopsy under vision, tumor marker studies and immunocytochemical analysis etc., that have made possible an early diagnosis of MPE. The management of MPE still remains a challenge to pulmonologist and oncologist. Despite having various modalities with better tolerance such as pleurodesis and indwelling pleural catheters etc., for long-term control, all the management approaches remain palliative to improve the quality of life and reduce symptoms. While choosing an appropriate management intervention, one should consider the clinical status of the patient, life expectancy, overall cost, availability and comparative institutional outcomes, etc.

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