Pancreaticopleural fistula (PPF) causing pleural effusion as a complication of chronic pancreatitis is a rare finding. We present this finding in a 52-year-old man with a medical history significant for alcohol abuse, acute on chronic pancreatitis and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, who presented with worsening dyspnoea for 3 days. CT scan of the chest showed a new large right-sided pleural effusion. Thoracentesis was performed and pleural fluid analysis showed an amylase-rich, exudative pleural effusion. The effusion reaccumulated within 3 days necessitating repeat thoracentesis. Endoscopic retrograde chloangiopancreatography showed contrast leak through a single disruption in the dorsal pancreatic duct, suspicious for an underlying PPF. The patient underwent stenting of the pancreatic duct with subsequent resolution of right-sided pleural effusion.
- respiratory medicine
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