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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 633-636

Carcinoma breast related metastatic pleural effusion: A thoracoscopic approach

Department of Respiratory Medicine and Pathology, J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Chetan Basavaraj Patil
Chest Hospital, J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India.
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Source of Support: Nil., Conflict of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest.

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0513.162246

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Background: Pleural effusions are common and devastating complication of advanced malignancies. Lung and breast cancers cause approximately 75% of all malignant pleural effusions. Pleural effusions associated with carcinoma breast (either malignant or paramalignant) pose diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas for the treating chest physician. Materials and Methods: In a prospective study of analysis of unexplained pleural effusions, we performed medical thoracoscopy in 9 cases of carcinoma breast between April 2011 and September 2014. All the relevant clinical and paraclinical were collected and analyzed. Results: Sole pleural effusion was the most common radiological finding. This article reviews 9 cases of carcinoma breast patients, who had developed recurrent lymphocytic exudative pleural effusion, within a year of diagnosis. Thoracoscopy was diagnostic in all 9 cases with a histological diagnosis of metastatic carcinoma arising from the breast. Surprisingly malignant cells were negative in pleural fluid of all cases on three consecutive occasions. Conclusion: Carcinoma breast related pleural effusion is a common condition encountered in respiratory medicine and oncology. Thoracoscopic guided pleural biopsy is an effective and safe technique in patients with undiagnosed pleural effusion. It not only gives an accurate diagnosis but also gives a high degree of relationship between thoracoscopic appearance and primary disease or tumor classification.

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