Objective: To reveal the diagnostic and prognostic significance of eosinophilic pleural effusions (EPEs) and assess their clinical implications.
Study design: Seventy EPEs from 60 patients among 697 consecutive pleural effusions were investigated from 1996-2005 at Kocaeli University Hospital, Kocaeli, Turkey. Koss and Light's criteria were applied in the analysis, which comprised macroscopic, cytopathologic, biochemical and microbiologic examinations.
Results: Overall, cancerous underlying conditions were diagnosed in 22 patients (13 malignant and 9 paramalignant), 36.7% of EPEs. Benign causes were found in 43.3% (26 of 60) of the patients. Twelve pleural effusions (20.0%) were idiopathic. The comparison of pleural fluid and peripheral blood findings disclosed no significant difference among the various subgroups.
Conclusion: EPE could be associated with inflammatory, benign, cancerous and paramalignant conditions. A closer search for a definite causes is warranted in the setting of EPEs, especially in populations with a high prevalence of tuberculosis and malignancy, such as in Kocaeli, Turkey, an industrial city in a developing country.