Q: Acute shortness of breath and malignant pleural effusions can be a presenting sign of ovarian cancer. What percentage of malignant pleural effusion in ovarian cancer exhibits negative biopsy?
Answer: About 30%
Actually, pleural cavity constitutes the most frequent extra-abdominal metastatic site in ovarian carcinoma! But it requires documentation of positive biopsy. About 30% of malignant pleural effusions may yield false-negative results. If clinical suspicion is there, VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) should be performed. Another advantage or goal of VATS is to quantify pleural tumour burden and intrathoracic cytoreduction.
Porcel JM, Diaz JP, Chi DS.- Clinical implications of pleural effusions in ovarian cancer - Respirology. 2012 Oct;17(7):1060-7.