Serial pulmonary function test abnormality in tuberculous pleural effusion
Keywords:Pulmonary function test, Residual pleural thickening, Restrictive abnormality, Tubercular pleural effusion
Background: Pleural effusion is a common clinical problem that frequently causes dyspnoea and poor ventilatory function. In addition to fluid, pleural thickening, septations and calcifications can add to the functional deterioration of lungs. The drainage of pleural effusion is very effective in improving the functionality of lungs. Large volume pleural fluid tapping results in immediate hemodynamic improvement and relief from dyspnoea.
Methods: The aim of the present study was to estimate the impact of tubercular pleural effusion on the ventilatory function of the lungs and to find out the correlation between the effect of pleural tapping and functional effect on the lungs. The study comprised of thirty tubercular pleural effusion cases. They were observed for six months by doing serial chest X-rays and pulmonary function test.
Results: It was observed that tuberculous pleural effusion causes a restrictive abnormality and small airway obstruction. These abnormalities improve gradually over a period of six months when the patient is on anti-tubercular treatment. The role of any therapeutic intervention towards decreasing these lung function abnormalities will be subject of separate large-scale prospective study.
Conclusions: Functional defects and residual pleural thickening has no correlation with the initial severity of pleural effusion.
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