Effusion under the microscope

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2012 Mar;77(1):32-4. doi: 10.4081/monaldi.2012.166.


Pseudochylothorax is a very rare form of pleural effusion. It is also called chyliform or cholesterol pleural effusion. It is usually a unilateral process and approximately one-third of patients are asymptomatic at presentation. We report a case of a 60 year old man with a background of rheumatoid arthritis who presented with progressive dyspnea. Chest X-ray revealed a new left pleural effusion and a small persistent right pleural effusion. He presented 5 years prior due to recurrent pleural effusion and no diagnosis was made. Repeat thoracentesis yielded 350 milliliters of thick, milky, tan-colored fluid.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Chylothorax / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Effusion / pathology*