The presence of ascitic fluid in the pleural cavity in the absence of peritoneal fluid is rare. We have recently encountered two patients who presented with red-sided pleural effusions and no abdominal ascites. Both patients had diaphragmatic defects: One was an old traumatic diaphragmatic tear and the other a pinpoint spontaneous perforation. These cases are unique because the diagnosis of total ascitic fluid movement across the diaphragm was made during life, and the condition was surgically corrected. The literature concerning transdiaphragmatic movement of fluid is reviewed, and an operative approach is outlined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine