Semin Respir Crit Care Med 1998; 19(3): 271-282
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1009404
Copyright © 1998 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Pleural Disease in Pregnancy

Steven A. Sahn* , John E. Heffner
  • *Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, and
  • †Department of Medicine, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, and Chairman, Academic Internal Medicine, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona
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20. März 2008 (online)


Pregnancy is associated with pleural abnormalities that may occur as a direct consequence of pregnancy or as a pregnancy-induced exacerbation of an underlying disease. Multiple reports suggest that benign pleural effusions occur in a variable number of patients after labor and delivery. Other pleural abnormalities directly related to pregnancy include chylothorax, hemothorax, urinothorax, pneumomediastinum, and pneumothorax. Conditions associated with pleural effusions or pneumothoraces that can be exacerbated by pregnancy include lymphangiomyomatosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, neurofibromatosis, and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. In caring for pregnant patients with evidence of pleural abnormalities, clinicians must discriminate between benign consequences of pregnancy and serious pleuropulmonary disorders. An accurate and prompt diagnosis is required to ensure both maternal and fetal well-being.