Hemorrhagic Malignant Pleural Effusion: Diagnosis, Survival Rate, and Response to Talc Pleurodesis

Gadi Lending, Yousef Abed El Ghani, Edward Kaykov, Boris Svirsky, Hector Isaac Cohen, Edward Altman

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Hemorrhagic malignant pleural effusion (HMPE) is diagnosed in 47–50% of all malignant pleural effusions (MPE). The aim of this study is to evaluate clinical, radiological, and morphological manifestations of HMPE and results of talc pleurodesis treatment. This is a retrospective review of the medical charts of 135 MPE patients which consists of HMPE group (42 patients) and simple MPE group (63 patients) (median age 67.9 years; 43 males, 62 females). In HMPE vs. simple MPE patients, pronounced dyspnea (100% vs. 88.9%, P = 0.024), chest pain (59.5% vs. 60.3%, P = 1), general deterioration (78.6% vs. 74.6%, P = 0.411) combined with large pleural effusion (81% vs. 50.8%, P = 0.001), and thickening of parietal pleura (73.8% vs. 68.3%, P = 0.349), all were more specific for HMPE. Cytological examination of HMPE showed more malignant pleural fluid cells (81% vs. 63.5%, P = 0.043). Histological examination revealed poorly differentiated types of tumors in 69.05% of HMPE (bronchogenic 33.33%, intestinal 16.67%, breast 14.3%) vs. 7.94% of simple MPE. In 19 HMPE vs. 0 simple MPE patients, thoracoscopy showed bleeding nodules (94.7%) on thickened parietal pleura (84.2%). Pleurodesis with talc by slurry (59%) and poudrage (41%) was less effective in HMPE than in simple MPE patients after 1 month (failed response; 33.3% vs. 21.6, P = 0.019), 3 months (42.9% vs. 25.7%, P = 0.017), and 6 months (42.9% vs. 21.7%, P = 0.035). Survival in HMPE was significantly lower (3.06 months vs. 5.37 months, P = 0.0005). HMPE has more severe clinical, laboratory, radiological, and endoscopic manifestations due to a more poorly differentiated malignant process. Talc pleurodesis was less effective in HMPE, and survival was poor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Indian Association of Surgical Oncology.


  • Hemorrhagic malignant pleural effusion
  • Talc pleurodesis
  • Thoracoscopy


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