Question of the Week # 340

340)  A 52 year old woman with history of triple-negative, metastatic breast cancer presents to the Emergency Room with increasing shortness of breath. This is her third Emergency room visit in the past 2 months. Earlier, she was admitted to the hospital  twice for massive pleural effusion and underwent therapeutic thoracentesis.  She was told that the cancer had spread to her lungs and pleura. She received multiple courses of chemotherapy in the past and her cancer has progressed despite initial response to chemotherapy. Her oncologist recommended palliative care. On examination, she is afebrile,  respiratory rate is 24/min, Blood pressure 120/70 mm Hg and Heart Rate 106/min. Breath sounds are decreased on right side of the chest. D-dimer level is 60ng/ml ( normal < 500 ng/ml) . A chest X-ray is shown below:

Which of the following management options is most appropriate for this patient?

A) Obtain Pleural biopsy

B) Tube thoracostomy and Pleurodesis

C) Start Heparin and obtain CT Angiogram

D) Pleuro-perintoneal shunt

E) Repeat Therapeutic thoracentesis

17 Responses

  1. B

  2. b

  3. E

  4. B) Tube thoracostomy and Pleurodesis

  5. b

  6. B

  7. B

  8. b

  9. B

  10. B

  11. B) Tube thoracostomy and Pleurodesis

  12. B) Tube thoracostomy and pleurodesis. Recurrent malignant effusion.

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