Author | Nancy L. S. Patel, DO


Acute hypoxemic respiratory failure as a manifestation of urinothorax

April 01, 2007

In the case described here, hypoxemic respiratory failure occurred secondary to a right-sided pleural effusion associated with an obstructive uropathy. The patient, a 75-year-old man with a history of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), presented with a gradual onset of shortness of breath, tachypnea, and oliguria. Renal ultrasonography and CT scanning revealed bilateral hydronephrosis. A right thoracentesis yielded fluid with characteristics consistent with urinothorax. The patient was given medication for BPH, taught how to do self-straight catheterization, and scheduled for an outpatient cystoscopy. At follow-up, his chest radiograph showed no effusions.