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Diagnosed with hydrothorax. What could be the cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
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My Mom was diagnosed with
hydrothorax, she has 600 ml of fluid in one of her lungs. The problem is the doctor don' t really specify wat is the cause of it.
Could you please tell us what can be a main cause of hydrothorax, what is the treatment and how XXXXXXX it can be. Is it something you can treat?
Please help. Thank you in advance for your answer.
Posted Thu, 8 Nov 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Ishfaq Habib 2 hours later

Thanks for the query

1. Hydrothorax is actually not a diagnosis, but a complication of the underlying disease. There are three main causes of hydrothorax in developed countries - liver cirrhosis or hepatic failure which is the most common one followed by the left ventricular failure and then the renal failure.

Tuberculosis is the main cause of pleural effusion in the developing countries comprising about 75% cases. It also needs to be ruled out in your mother's case.

2. To reach the underlying cause, she needs to undergo a battery of tests such as liver function test, ultrasound, renal function tests, serum albumin, Echocardiography along with pleural fluid analysis.

3. The treatment is totally based upon the treatment of the underlying cause. Frequent taps can be performed for draining the fluid through a syringe to reliever her symptoms. Medical drugs such as water pill (diuretic like fruseamide) can be helpful.

Discuss about these options with her treating doctor. You will be able to learn more from them.

I will be available to guide you should you have other concerns.

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