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  • Author: Sanja Petrusevska Marinkovic x
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Features of Parapneumonic Effusions


Introduction: Parapneumonic effusions, as a complication of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), usually have a good course, but they sometimes progress into complicated parapneumonic effusion (CPPE) and empyema, thus becoming a significant clinical problem.

Aim: To review clinical and radiological features, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic options in parapneumonic effusions.

Material and methods: The analysis included 94 patients with parapneumonic effusion hospitalized at the University Infectious Diseases Clinic in Skopje during a 4 year period. Out of 755 patients with CAP, 175 (23.18%), had parapneumonic effusion. Thoracentesis was performed in 94 (53.71%) patients, 50 patients were with uncomplicated parapneumonic effusions (UCPPE) and 44 with complicated parapneumonic effusions (CPPE).

Results: More patients (59.57%) were male; the average age was 53.82±17.5 years. The most common symptoms included: fever (91; 96.81%), cough (80; 85.11%), pleuritic chest pain (68; 72.34%), dyspnea (65; 69.15%). Alcoholism was the most common comorbidity registered in 12 (12.77%) patients. Macroscopically, effusion was yellow and clear in most cases (36; 38.29%). Localization of pleural effusion was often in the left costophrenic angle (53; 56.38%) and ultrasonographic non-septated complex. Between the two groups of effusions there was a significant difference between the ERS, WBC and CRP in serum and CRP in pleural fluid. Statistical difference existed in terms of days of hospitalization with a longer hospital stay for patients with CPPE (p <0.0001).

Conclusion: Patients with parapneumonic effusion have the symptoms of acute respiratory infection and frequent accompanying diseases. Future diagnostic and therapeutic treatment depends on pleural fluid features and imaging lung findings.

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The Role of Serum Coagulation Factors in the Differential Diagnosis of Patients with Pneumonia and Parapneumonic Effusion


The aim of this study was to identify the participations of the serum coagulations and fibrinolysis factors that contribute to the differential diagnosis of the patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) without effusion, uncomplicated parapneumonic effusion (UCPPE) and complicated parapneumonic effusion (CPPE).

The coagulations system is fundamental for the maintenance of homeostasis, and contributes to the inflammatory process responsible for CAP and the parapneumonic effusion. The factors of coagulations and fibrinolysis participate in the cellular proliferation and migration as in the synthesis of the inflammatory mediators.

We evaluated the laboratory profile of coagulations and fibrinolysis in the serum of 148 patients with CAP without effusion, 50 with UCPPE and 44 with CPPE. We determined the test of the coagulation cascade which measures the time elapsed from the activation of the coagulation cascade at different points to the fibrin generation. As a consequence, there is an activation of the fibrinolytic system with the increased D-dimer levels measured in the plasma in the three groups.

The patients were with mean age ± SD (53,82 ± 17,5) min – max 18–93 years. A significantly higher number of thrombocytes was in the group with CPPE with median 412 × 109/L (rank 323–513 × 109/L). The extended activation of the prothrombin time (aPTT) was significantly higher in the same group of patients with median of 32 sec. (rank 30–35 sec). The mean D-dimer plasma level was 3266,5 ± 1292,3 ng/ml in patients with CPPE, in CAP without effusion 1646,6 ± 1204 ng/ml and in UCPPE 1422,9 ± 970 ng/ml.

The coagulations system and the fibrinolysis play important role in the development and pathophysiology of CAP and the parapneumonic effusions.

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Surgical Treatment of Pleural Empyema – Our Results


Pleural infection is a frequent clinical condition. Prompt treatment has been shown to reduce morbidity, mortality and duration of hospital stay. Unfortunately, advanced stages of empyema need to use extensive surgery - decortications or thoracoplasty. Early recognition of the parapneumonic effusion and the adequate treatment with thoracentesis or pleural drainage, which is minimally invasive, is possible not to prograde the process and not to become empyema.

Aim: To analyze the results of the surgical treatment in patients with empyema treated at Clinic for thoracic surgery.

Material and methods: In the retrospective study we analyzed 234 patients with empyema which were treated at the Clinic for Thoracic Surgery in 5 year period (2011-2015). The mean age of the patients was 51.94 years. They were treated with pleural drainage, decortications or thoracoplasty.

Results: With pleural drainage were treated 165/234 (70.51%) patients, of which successfully were finished 124/165 (75.15%), but 41/165 (24.85%) were indicated after the decortications. A total of 108/234 (46.15%) were treated with decortications from which, primary decortications were indicated in 67/234 (28.63%) patients. 5/234 (2.14%) patients were treated with thoracoplasty – 3 of the patients with decortications and 2 with primary indicated thoracoplasty according to the local findings, long term untreated empyema and bad general condition. The Mean hospitalization was 17.4 days, of which 13.4 days after surgery. In the group with primary drainage it was detected a lethal outcome in 7/124 (5.64%) patients, 5/105 (4.76%) in the group with decortications and 2/5 (40%) in the group with thoracoplasty.

Conclusion: Early detection of the parapneumonic effusion and the adequate treatment will prevent the appearance of empyema. If the empyema is detected it is necessary as early as possible to start the treatment with minimally invasive pleural drainage. In earlier stages it is possible to use less invasive decortications, using VATS than the open thoracotomy decortication which is more extensive surgical intervention.

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