MEDICAL THORACOSCOPY A VALUABLE TOOL IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF UNDIAGNOSED PLEURAL EFFUSION: A SINGLE CENTRE EXPERIENCE FROM NORTH INDIA.
Background: Recurrent and persistent pleural exudates are common in clinical practice, and in a large number of patients,
thoracocentesis and blind pleural biopsy procedures do not provide a definitive diagnosis. In the Western world, the majority of these exudates are malignant. thoracoscopy today remains the gold standard technique in providing diagnosis and management in these cases.
Objectives: Diagnostic yield of medical thoracoscopy was evaluated in cases of undiagnosed pleural effusion
Materials and methods: Rigid medical thoracoscopy was performed in 40 patients having undiagnosed pleural effusion at the Chest Disease Hospital, Srinagar, J&K India.
Results: Medical thoracoscopy gave a definitive diagnosis in 38 out of 40 patients with diagnostic yield 95%. Malignancy was diagnosed in 28 patients (70%), one patient was diagnosed as empyema (2.5%), tuberculosis was found in 9 patients (22.5%), and it was non diagnostic in 2 patients (5%). The post-thoracoscopic complications in the studied group have occurred only in 4 patients (10%).
Conclusion: Medical thoracoscopy is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of undiagnosed exudative pleural effusion. It is a simple and safe method with high diagnostic yield and with low complication
Keywords: Pleural effusion, thoracoscopy, malignancy