Diagnostic and therapeutic management of hydrothorax in peritoneal dialysis

Strasbourg experience in 11 cases.





Hydrothorax, peritoneal dialysis, surgical repair, pleurodesis, pleuroperitoneal communication


Hydrothorax is a rare mechanical complication of peritoneal dialysis (PD) which often results in discontinuation of the technique. According to studies, its incidence is estimated  at 1.6 to 2%. In the majority of cases, its location is on the right. It is secondary to the passage of dialysate from the peritoneal cavity to the pleural space through a diaphragmatic breach, which may be acquired or congenital. The additional tests necessary to confirm the diagnosis are often invasive and expensive, and are not the subject of any consensus. It is the same for the therapeutic management, which goes from the simple transient interruption of the dialysis to heavy treatments such as thoracotomy. In our center, we have opted to simplify the management of patients with hydrothorax. From a diagnostic standpoint, we use simple, minimally invasive and less expensive examinations. For the therapeutic management, we have opted, since our first case in 2000, for a simple and less aggressive surgical technique, with an abdominal and non-thoracic approach allowing the installation of a sub-diaphragmatic prosthesis by laparoscopic route to seal the lesions breaches. Out of 10 operated patients, 2 (20%) presented with a relapse of hydrothorax and were permanently transferred to hemodialysis. The remaining 8 (80%) were able to resume PD without subsequent recurrence or complications, after a 3- to 4-week PD interruption period during which all patients were hemodialyzed through a simple central catheter.



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How to Cite

Bencheikh L, D’Urso A, Heibel F. Diagnostic and therapeutic management of hydrothorax in peritoneal dialysis: Strasbourg experience in 11 cases. Bull Dial Domic [Internet]. 2021 May 20 [cited 2023 Mar. 28];4(2):95-103. Available from: https://www.bdd.rdplf.org/index.php/bdd/article/view/61603