Chronic massive pancreatic pleural effusion is an uncommon and often unrecognized clinical syndrome which results from an internal pancreatic fistula and usually presents as an exudative effusion of unknown cause. The effusion frequently occurs without clinical evidence of pancreatitis, but occasionally it may be associated with a pseudocyst of the pancreas. Chronic massive pancreatic pleural effusion is usually recurrent and characterized by very high levels of amylase in the pleural fluid. Morbidity and mortality are reduced when a definite diagnosis is established and appropriate therapy rendered. In this report, three cases of chronic massive pancreatic pleural effusions are presented. Two of the three had no demonstrable pancreatic disease, and the condition responded to conservative therapy. The third patient had a pancreatic pseudocyst and an internal pancreatic fistula which was corrected only after multiple surgical procedures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine