Ascites, pleural effusion, and CA 125 elevation in an SLE patient, either a Tjalma syndrome or, due to the migrated Filshie clips, a pseudo-Meigs syndrome

Gynecol Oncol. 2005 Apr;97(1):288-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2004.12.022.


Background: The combination ascites, pleural effusion, and elevated CA 125 are usually associated with a malignancy.

Case: A 38-year-old SLE patient consulted her physician for shortness of breath. On clinical examination, she had a tender abdomen and reduced breathing sounds. X-ray and computed tomography of the chest showed pleural effusion. An adjustment of her SLE maintenance therapy was performed. Vaginal ultrasound and computed tomography of the abdomen revealed massive ascites and an intracavitair myoma of 2 cm, but no obvious mass in the pelvis. CA 125 was 887 U/ml. A laparoscopy was performed showing ascites and 2 Filshie clips embedded in the peritoneum of the vesicouterine pouch, but no sign of malignancy. Both clips were removed. The cytology of the aspirated ascites showed sings of acute inflammation. Within 10 weeks, the pleural effusion was resolved and the CA 125 normalized.

Conclusion: The combination of ascites, pleural effusion, CA 125 elevation, and no tumor in an SLE patient is either a Tjalma syndrome or due to the migrated Filshie clips a pseudo-Meigs syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascites / blood
  • Ascites / parasitology
  • CA-125 Antigen / blood*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Foreign-Body Migration / blood
  • Foreign-Body Migration / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology*
  • Meigs Syndrome / blood
  • Meigs Syndrome / pathology*
  • Pleural Effusion / blood
  • Pleural Effusion / pathology


  • CA-125 Antigen