Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type : Brief Report(s)


1 Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Division, Vali-e-Asre Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran

2 Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran


The causes and situation of exudative pleural effusion vary from one area to another. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 327 patients with exudative pleural effusion in South Khorasan province (Iran). The patients were older than 12 years and comprised 172 (52.6%) males and 155 (47.4%) females. The study commenced in 2007 with seven years duration. The Light’s criteria were used to define exudative effusion. Procedures including pleural fluid analysis, microbiological study, pleural biopsy, and systemic investigations were conducted to determine the special cause of pleural effusion. The mean age of the patients was 63.4±18.4 years. Malignancies, tuberculosis, and parapneumonia pleural exudation were diagnosed in 125 (38.2%), 48 (14.7%), and 45 (13.8%) cases, respectively. Among malignant effusions, metastasis from lung cancer made 48 (38.4%) of the cases. The origin of metastasis was not determined in 44 (35.2%) patients. The mean age of patients was not significantly different between malignant (66.9±14.3 years) and tuberculosis (63.9±19.7 years) cases (P=0.16). The older age of tuberculosis patients could be a new discussion point on the overall impression created on the subject of tuberculosis pleural exudation (TB-PLE) occurring in young people.


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