Dazril Wiradinata 1,  Prayudi Santoso1,2, Arto Yuwono Soeroto1,2


1 Fakultas Kedokteran, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia.

2 Departemen Ilmu Penyakit Dalam-Divisi Pulmonologi dan Respirasi Kritis, Rumah Sakit Umum Pusat dr. Hasan Sadikin - Fakultas Kedokteran Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia.



     Pleural effusions can develop as a direct consequence of uremia (uremic pleuritis) which occurred in 40% of the end stage renal disease patients on chronic hemodialysis in one study. The diagnosis of uremic pleuritis is challenging as there is no pathognomonic diagnostic test.

     In this case, a 68 year old woman who is known to have end-stage chronic renal failure on chronic hemodialysis with shortness of breath was admitted. Previously, the patient had undergone pleurocentesis twice in 2 week intervals. Further examination found a unilateral pleural effusion. Therapeutic pleurocentesis was done uneventfully and modified light’s criteria was exudated. Adenosine deaminase 15.5 U/L, negative bacterial and mycobacterial. Pleural fluid cytology revealed nonspecific chronic inflammation, no lymphocytic effusion and no malignant cells was noted.

     Uremic pleuritis is diagnosed by excluding other causes that persists or recurs despite aggressive haemodialysis. A close relationship between the degree of uremia and the occurrence of pleural effusions has not been found. Effusion is exudative with predominant lymphocytes and cytology reveals nonspecific chronic inflammation. Most patients respond to continuation of hemodialysis, but corticosteroids may have benefit for refractory uremic pleuritis. Some patients may develop pleural fibrosis with a trapped lung and about 20% of cases the pleuritis persists, recurs or occasionally progresses to restrictive ventilatory dysfunction that needs decortication.

      We need to consider this diagnosis in patients with end-stage renal disease despite routine hemodialysis because of the high incidence of uremic pleuritis. There are no pathognomonic signs, so all causes of pleural effusion must be excluded first.


Keyword: uremic pleuritis, end stage renal disease, pleural effusion


Published: 2022-06-16