Journal of Korean Society of Medical Ultrasound 1994;13(1): 59-64.
Significance of echogenic septae in patients with infected pleural effusion
Ultrasonography is increasingly used in the diagnosis and subsequent percutaneous aspiration or drainage ofpleural effusion. Alghough echogenic septae are frequently seen within pleural effusion, the significance or theirpresence has not been accurately evaluated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the significance of septaeseen on ultrasonograms in patients with infected pleural effusion. We performed the retrospective analysis of 23patients who underwent ultrasonography and subsequent aspiration of the pleural fluid for the chemical analysis.The patients were followed-up for more than one month after the conservative treatment. Ultrasonographic patternof pleural effusion was classfied into 3 types; 1) anechoic effusion, 2) effusion with linear septae, and 3)effusion withh honeycomb appearance. We correlated the sonographic patterns with the amount of pleural effusionand the rate of improvement seen on chest radiographs, and also with the protein concentration of the aspiratedeffusion. The amount of pleural effusion on initial chest radiograph was significantly larger and the improvementwas more frequently incomplete or absent in patients with septae (especially in those with honeycomb appearance)than in those with anechoic pleural effusion. The protein concentration of the aspirated effusion was higher inpatients with honeycomb appearance than in those with anechoic effusion or linear septae. We conclude that theseptae seen on ultrasonogram could be considered as a significant prognostic factor in the evaluation of thepatients with infected pleural effusion.
Keywords: Thorax,US
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