Articles in "pleural effusions"

How to Differentiate Pleural Effusion Exudates from Transudates

by Joseph Esherick, M.D., FAAFP, FHM

This meta-analysis analyzed 20 studies and nearly 3,500 patients. The study found that, on the average, a pleural cholesterol level of 55 mg/L or more had an 88% sensitivity, 96% specificity and positive likelihood ratio for an exudate of 20.3. On the other hand, a pleural cholesterol level below 55 mg/L has a negative likelihood ratio of 0.12 suggesting a transudate. In addition a pleural fluid/serum cholesterol ratio of 0.3 or more has 94% sensitivity and 87% specificity for a pleural exudate. A P/S cholesterol ratio less than 0.3 has a negative likelihood ratio of 0.07.3