C-Reactive Protein in Lymphocytic Pleural Effusions: A Diagnostic Aid in Tuberculous PleuritisGarcia-Pachon E. · Soler M.J. · Padilla-Navas I. · Romero V. · Shum C.
Section of Pneumology, Hospital General Universitario, Elche, Spain
Background:C-reactive protein (CRP) pleural fluid levels have been found to be higher in tuberculosis and parapneumonic effusions than in other causes of pleural effusion. Objective:The aim of this study was to analyze whether CRP (a simple and inexpensive test) may be a diagnostic aid for tuberculosis in lymphocytic pleural effusions. Methods:One hundred and forty-four patients with a lymphocytic pleural effusion (more than 50% lymphocytes in the differential white blood cell count) were included. The patients were 93 men (65%) and 51 women (35%), aged 64 ± 18 years (mean ± SD). The diagnoses were as follows: tuberculosis, 20; pleural effusion associated with malignancy, 69; transudates, 38; other benign exudates, 17. Results: The CRP pleural fluid level was higher in tuberculous pleuritis (54 ± 24 mg/l) than in lymphocytic effusions of other origin (21 ± 16 mg/l; p < 0.001). High CRP levels (≧50 mg/l) have a high specificity for tuberculosis (95%), and low levels (<30 mg/l) have a high sensitivity (95%) for excluding disease. Conclusions: CRP pleural fluid level determination is useful in the diagnostic workup of lymphocytic pleural effusions. High CRP levels are very suggestive of tuberculous pleuritis, and low CRP levels make this diagnosis unlikely.
Eduardo Garcia-Pachon, MD
Section of Pneumology, Hospital General Universitario
ES–03203 Elche, Alicante (Spain)
Tel. +34 96 667 90 00, Fax +34 96 667 91 08, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: July 9, 2004
Accepted after revision: October 25, 2004
Number of Print Pages : 4
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 2, Number of References : 30
Respiration (International Journal of Thoracic Medicine)
Vol. 72, No. 5, Year 2005 (Cover Date: September-October 2005)
Journal Editor: Bolliger, C.T. (Cape Town)
ISSN: 0025–7931 (print), 1423–0356 (Online)
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