Published online Dec 14, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i46.6284
Revised: September 10, 2007
Accepted: October 23, 2007
Published online: December 14, 2007
Hepatic hydrothorax is a relatively infrequent but potentially serious complication of liver cirrhosis that often causes respiratory dysfunction. Several hypotheses for the development of hepatic hydrothorax have been suggested to explain a transdiaphragmatic shift of ascitic fluid through small defects between the peritoneal cavity and the pleural space. However, the rapid development of hydrothorax within several hours is seldom encountered. In addition, the causal factors for rapid passage of ascitic fluid into the pleural cavity are unknown. This report describes a patient with liver cirrhosis who suffered rapid development of a hydrothorax after manual compression of the abdomen.