Acute hydrothorax complicating peritoneal dialysis: A case report

Cho, Yeoungjee, D'Intini, Vincent and Ranganathan, Dwarakanathan (2010) Acute hydrothorax complicating peritoneal dialysis: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 4 355-1-355-3. doi:10.1186/1752-1947-4-355

Author Cho, Yeoungjee
D'Intini, Vincent
Ranganathan, Dwarakanathan
Title Acute hydrothorax complicating peritoneal dialysis: A case report
Journal name Journal of Medical Case Reports   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1752-1947
Publication date 2010-11-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1752-1947-4-355
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Start page 355-1
End page 355-3
Total pages 3
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Acute hydrothorax is an uncommon but a well-recognized complication of peritoneal dialysis. No single test is definitive for diagnosis. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, hydrothorax often requires abandonment of peritoneal dialysis. Delay in diagnosis can lead to worsening of the clinical status.

Case Presentation:

A 33-year-old Caucasian woman with lupus, who was successfully treated with temporary peritoneal dialysis 17 years previously, presented with acute dyspnea and a right pleural effusion after recommencing peritoneal dialysis. Investigations eliminated infective, cardiac, and primary respiratory causes. Peritoneal dialysis-related hydrothorax was suggested by biochemistry, and a pleuroperitoneal leak was definitively confirmed by using a Tc-99 m DTPA (diethylene triamine penta-acetic acid) scintigraphy scan. Subsequently, she underwent video-assisted thoracoscopy-guided talc pleurodesis and was able to return successfully to peritoneal dialysis.


Although our case is not the first report that describes the occurrence of acute hydrothorax in peritoneal dialysis, it is an important condition to recognize for the wider general medical community. Furthermore, this case demonstrates that peritoneal dialysis can be continued with a hydrothorax, provided the underlying cause can be corrected. We review the literature pertaining to the utility and reliability of different diagnostic approaches to hydrothorax.
© 1999-2011 BioMed Central Ltd
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number 355. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Medicine Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 28 Mar 2011, 12:43:08 EST by Debbie Banks on behalf of School of Medicine