The pleural effusion in ovarian tumors: often a diagnosis challenge

Roxana Chirilă 1 , Alina Croitoru 1,2 , Traian Burcos 1,3



Pleural effusions associated with ovarian tumors are not always malignant. Neoplastic etiology of pleural efussion needs histopathological confirmation. We present three cases that illustrate various etiologies for pleural effusions in patients with ovarian tumors: thromboembolism, malignancy and Meigs syndrome. For these patients, it is essential to establish the correct etiology of the pleurisy, since it may change the therapeutic approach. All the cases must be carefully assessed and all the efforts must be done by a multidisciplinary team in order to offer the best solution for each case.


ovarian tumor, pleural effusion, cancer  

Ovarian tumors are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms that affect the ovary ranging from benign to malignant. Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynaecological malignancy (1) with an increasing incidence and late stage detection - 75% in advanced stages (2) . It causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Depending on the stage the 5-year survival rates vary from 80-90% in early stages to 25% in advanced stages of disease (2) . Pleural effusions can be found in association with ovarian tumors, but they do not always prove a metastatic dissemination. However, it is essential to establish the correct etiology of pleurisy in patients with ovarian cancer since it can modify the stage of the disease and also the therapeutic options. In the following article we present three different cases of pleural effusion accompanying the ovarian tumors, supporting the idea that in such cases the pleurisy is not always malignant, therefore, it does not represent a contraindication to curative therapy.


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