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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 1978-1983

Diagnostic role of video-assisted thoracoscopy in the management of indeterminate pleural effusion


1 Department of Surgery, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, University of Calabar and University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. N J Eze
Department of Surgery, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_311_22

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Background: The management of pleural effusion usually involves the drainage of the effusion, identification, and treatment of the underlying cause (s). Studies have shown that the initial diagnostic techniques do not give conclusive diagnosis in some cases of pleural effusion. This group of patients described as patients with indeterminate or undiagnosed pleural effusion constitutes a significant proportion of patients with pleural effusion in clinical practice. In this study, we examined the role of video-assisted thoracoscopy (VAT) in the diagnostic work-up of these patients. Aim: To determine the diagnostic outcome of VAT in the management of indeterminate pleural effusion in our center. Patients and Methods: Consecutive patients who presented with pleural effusions and who met the inclusion criteria had video-assisted thoracoscopy for diagnostic purposes. Outcome measures including the diagnostic yield, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of VAT in patients with indeterminate pleural effusion, duration of the procedure, duration of hospitalization after the procedure, and complications for all the patients were documented and analyzed. Results: Of the 22 patients with indeterminate pleural effusion, conclusive diagnosis was obtained in 18 (81.8%) with a sensitivity of 91.7% [95% confidence interval (CI); 61.5–99.8%], specificity of 100% (95% CI; 69.1–100%), PPV of 100% (95% CI; 0–100%), and NPV of 90.9% (95% CI; 60.5–98.5%) for malignancy and a sensitivity of 78% (95% CI; 40–97%), a specificity of 100% (95% CI; 75.3–100%), PPV of 100% (95% CI; 0–100%), and NPV of 86.7% (95% CI; 65.7–95.7%) for tuberculosis. Conclusion: Our results show that video-assisted thoracoscopy plays a useful role in our center in obtaining diagnosis in patients with indeterminate pleural effusion.


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