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Can chest ultrasonography differentiate between benign and malignant effusions?
Egyptian Journal of Bronchology volume 9, pages 165–169 (2015)
The differential diagnosis of exudative pleural effusion is a major challenge for chest physicians particularly in a country with limited financial resources.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the sonographic features in the prediction of exudative malignant pleural effusion.
This was a prospective cross-sectional study.
This study was carried out between May 2013 and June 2014 in the Chest Department of Assiut University Hospital.
The patients enrolled included 25 patients with malignant pleural effusion and 25 patients with other different benign causes.
Main outcome measures
The sonographic appearances of pleural effusions were defined in terms of five patterns: anechoic, complex septated, complex nonseptated, pleural thickening, and pleural nodules.
Among the 25 malignant exudative pleural effusions, a complex nonseptated pattern is a useful diagnostic predictor, with sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 60, 68, 65, and 63%, respectively. Pleural nodules were only found in malignant effusion (100% specificity). If we define the complex septated sonographic pattern as a predictor for benign effusion, we can achieve sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 52, 88, 81, and 65%, respectively.
Pleural nodules and a complex nonseptated pattern in the sonographic appearance are useful predictors of malignant pleural effusions, whereas a complex septated pattern is a useful predictor in nonmalignant effusion.
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Hassan, W.A., Alkarn, A.F. & Kamel, M. Can chest ultrasonography differentiate between benign and malignant effusions?. Egypt J Bronchol 9, 165–169 (2015). https://doi.org/10.4103/1687-8426.158061
- malignant effusion
- pleural nodules