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ICD-10 I89.8, J91
ICD-9 457.8, 511.9
DiseasesDB 29612
eMedicine med/381 
MeSH D002916

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Please Take Over This Page and Apply to be Editor-In-Chief for this topic: There can be one or more than one Editor-In-Chief. You may also apply to be an Associate Editor-In-Chief of one of the subtopics below. Please mail us [1] to indicate your interest in serving either as an Editor-In-Chief of the entire topic or as an Associate Editor-In-Chief for a subtopic. Please be sure to attach your CV and or biographical sketch.

A chylothorax is a type of pleural effusion. It results from lymphatic fluid accumulating in the pleural cavity.


Its cause is usually leakage from the thoracic duct or one of the main lymphatic vessels that drain to it. The most common causes are lymphoma and trauma caused by thoracic surgery. The effusion is characteristically white and milky in appearance and contains high levels of triglycerides.

In animals, chylothorax usually results from diseases that cause obstruction to the thoracic duct preventing lymph from draining normally into the venous system. Examples include tumors, heartworm disease, right sided cardiac failure, or idiopathic lymphangiectasia. The most effective form of treatment is surgical ligation of the thoracic duct combined with partial pericardectomy.[1]

Differential Diagnosis

See also


  1. Birchard SJ, Smeak DD, McLoughlin MA (1998). "Treatment of idiopathic chylothorax in dogs and cats". J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 212 (5): 652–7. PMID 9524635. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. Sailer, Christian, Wasner, Susanne. Differential Diagnosis Pocket. Hermosa Beach, CA: Borm Bruckmeir Publishing LLC, 2002:77 ISBN 1591032016
  3. Kahan, Scott, Smith, Ellen G. In A Page: Signs and Symptoms. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2004:68 ISBN 140510368X

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Cost Effectiveness of Chylothorax

| group5 = Clinical Trials Involving Chylothorax | list5 = Ongoing Trials on Chylothorax at Clinical Trials.govTrial results on ChylothoraxClinical Trials on Chylothorax at Google

| group6 = Guidelines / Policies / Government Resources (FDA/CDC) Regarding Chylothorax | list6 = US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on ChylothoraxNICE Guidance on ChylothoraxNHS PRODIGY GuidanceFDA on ChylothoraxCDC on Chylothorax

| group7 = Textbook Information on Chylothorax | list7 = Books and Textbook Information on Chylothorax

| group8 = Pharmacology Resources on Chylothorax | list8 = AND (Dose)}} Dosing of ChylothoraxAND (drug interactions)}} Drug interactions with ChylothoraxAND (side effects)}} Side effects of ChylothoraxAND (Allergy)}} Allergic reactions to ChylothoraxAND (overdose)}} Overdose information on ChylothoraxAND (carcinogenicity)}} Carcinogenicity information on ChylothoraxAND (pregnancy)}} Chylothorax in pregnancyAND (pharmacokinetics)}} Pharmacokinetics of Chylothorax

| group9 = Genetics, Pharmacogenomics, and Proteinomics of Chylothorax | list9 = AND (pharmacogenomics)}} Genetics of ChylothoraxAND (pharmacogenomics)}} Pharmacogenomics of ChylothoraxAND (proteomics)}} Proteomics of Chylothorax

| group10 = Newstories on Chylothorax | list10 = Chylothorax in the newsBe alerted to news on ChylothoraxNews trends on Chylothorax

| group11 = Commentary on Chylothorax | list11 = Blogs on Chylothorax

| group12 = Patient Resources on Chylothorax | list12 = Patient resources on ChylothoraxDiscussion groups on ChylothoraxPatient Handouts on ChylothoraxDirections to Hospitals Treating ChylothoraxRisk calculators and risk factors for Chylothorax

| group13 = Healthcare Provider Resources on Chylothorax | list13 = Symptoms of ChylothoraxCauses & Risk Factors for ChylothoraxDiagnostic studies for ChylothoraxTreatment of Chylothorax

| group14 = Continuing Medical Education (CME) Programs on Chylothorax | list14 = CME Programs on Chylothorax

| group15 = International Resources on Chylothorax | list15 = Chylothorax en EspanolChylothorax en Francais

| group16 = Business Resources on Chylothorax | list16 = Chylothorax in the MarketplacePatents on Chylothorax

| group17 = Informatics Resources on Chylothorax | list17 = List of terms related to Chylothorax


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