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REVIEW
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 131-136

Palliative Treatment of Malignant Pleural Effusion


1 Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Jinling Hospital, Southern Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
2 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nanjing Chest Hospital, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Wenkui Sun
Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Jinling Hospital, No. 305, Zhongshan Road, Nanjing 210002, Jiangsu
China
Yi Shi
Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Jinling Hospital, No. 305, Zhongshan Road, Nanjing 210002, Jiangsu
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-3977.163804

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Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is a common clinical problem caused by cancers. Pleural effusion can be the first sign of cancer in more than 25% of patients. Lung cancer and breast cancer are the most common cancers that metastasize to the pleura in men and women, respectively. Other cancers, including, but not limited to, lymphomas, ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, and several unknown primary cancers can also lead to MPE. Dyspnea and chest pain are the most common symptoms of MPE along with other symptoms such as a cough, weight loss, anorexia, fatigue, and weakness. Aggravation of these symptoms is closely related to the rate of accumulation of pleural effusion. Treatment options to MPE are determined by the type and extent of the underlying malignancy. The major goals of the treatment are to relieve symptoms, restore functions, improve the quality of life, and minimize the duration of hospital stay and costs. Although some patients can be treated with systemic therapies, most of these treatments are temporary, and MPE would recur soon. Hence, further palliative treatments to effectively control pleural effusions and relieve symptoms are necessary. This review addresses the pathophysiology of MPE and the treatment options for patients with MPE.


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