Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Bilateral spontaneous chylothorax presenting as a left-sided neck mass


A previously well 36-year-old woman presented with a 2-day history of a tender left-sided neck mass associated with left-sided otalgia and odynophagia. On examination, there was a diffuse, tender swelling of the left anterior triangle of the neck with extension onto the anterior chest wall. Ultrasound and CT scans of the neck revealed extensive inflammatory changes in the soft tissues of the neck and a chest X-ray showed blunting of both costophrenic angles. A diagnostic pleural aspiration was subsequently performed and yielded chyle. The patient was commenced on total parenteral nutrition and placed on a low-fat diet; symptoms completely resolved within 5 days, and at follow-up at 6 weeks, there were no further episodes or complications. Bilateral spontaneous chylothorax is a rarely reported phenomenon in the literature; it has been reported in females following the possibility of minor physical exercise such as stretching or hyperextension of the neck.

  • ear
  • nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • respiratory medicine

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.