The management of benign non-infective pleural effusions

O.J. Bintcliffe, Gary Y.C. Lee, N.M. Rahman, N.A. Maskell

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    © ERS 2016.The evidence base concerning the management of benign pleural effusions has lagged behind that of malignant pleural effusions in which recent randomised trials are now informing current clinical practice and international guidelines. The causes of benign pleural effusions are broad, heterogenous and patients may benefit from individualised management targeted at both treating the underlying disease process and direct management of the fluid. Pleural effusions are very common in a number of non-malignant pathologies, such as decompensated heart failure, and following coronary artery bypass grafting. Pleural fluid analysis forms an important basis of the diagnostic evaluation, and more specific assays and imaging modalities are helpful in specific subpopulations. Options for management beyond treatment of the underlying disorder, whenever possible, include therapeutically aspirating the fluid, talc pleurodesis and insertion of an indwelling pleural catheter. Randomised trials will inform clinicians in the future as to the risks and benefits of these options providing a guide as to how best to manage patient symptoms in this challenging clinical setting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)303-316
    Number of pages14
    JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
    Issue number141
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    Dive into the research topics of 'The management of benign non-infective pleural effusions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this