Friday, May 4, 2012

Q: As you send pleural fluid to lab, initial report on computer reads -  pH =7.18 and glucose = 58 mg/dL. Nothing else reported yet. Whats your concern?

Answer:  Empyema

Usually empyema is tapped as frank pus or cloudy fluid from the pleural space. But it is very important to follow report on any thoracentesis as it is famously said that:

 "The Sun Should Never Set on an Empyema".

Drainage should be planned ASAP. In empyema the pleural fluid typically has a leukocytosis, low pH (less than 7.20), low glucose (less than 60 mg/dL), a high LDH, elevated protein and may grow infectious organisms.

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