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Symptom Relief After Large-Volume Thoracentesis in the Absence of Lung PerfusionLarge-Volume Thoracentesis and Dyspnea

Mary E. Klecka, MD; Fabien Maldonado, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Internal Medicine (Dr Klecka) and Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Dr Maldonado), Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Rochester, MN.

Correspondence to: Fabien Maldonado, MD, FCCP, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Gonda 18, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st St SW, Rochester, MN 55905; e-mail: Maldonado.Fabien@mayo.edu


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2014;145(5):1141-1143. doi:10.1378/chest.13-1523
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The physiologic basis for relief from dyspnea after therapeutic thoracentesis remains poorly understood. Here, we describe the case of a 46-year-old man with large recurrent pleural effusion with absent perfusion to the affected lung who experienced dramatic dyspnea relief after large-volume thoracentesis. This patient’s improvement in breathlessness cannot be attributed to improved gas exchange and suggests the primary physiologic basis for the relief in dyspnea is a change in respiratory system mechanics or work of breathing.

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