Article Text

PDF
Pulmonary puzzles
A very strange tail
  1. Ambika Talwar1,
  2. Anne McGown1,
  3. Tracy Langham1,
  4. Muhammad Abid2,
  5. John Pilling3
  6. on behalf of the Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Berkshire Hospital
  1. 1Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, UK
  2. 2Thames Valley Public Health England Centre, Oxfordshire, UK
  3. 3Department of Thoracic Surgery, Guys and St Thomas's Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to
    Ambika Talwar, Respiratory Department, Royal Berkshire Hospital, London Road, Reading, UK; ambitalwar{at}googlemail.com

Statistics from Altmetric.com

A young couple both presented in the autumn of 2013 with a protracted flu-like illness, right-sided pleuritic chest pain and night sweats. Neither had any significant past illnesses nor had they travelled abroad recently.

Patient X (aged 18 years) was systemically well with no extrapulmonary abnormalities on examination. Her C-reactive protein was elevated at 46 with a normal white cell count and negative blood cultures. She was not immunocompromised. Chest X-ray and thoracic ultrasound revealed a small right-sided pleural effusion. She was extremely needle phobic, and so pleural aspiration was not performed. She was treated for pneumonia with a 4-week course of oral antibiotics and clinically improved.

Patient Y (aged 20 years) presented to chest clinic 1 month later. On examination, he was septic. Chest X-ray, thoracic ultrasound and pleural aspiration confirmed that he had a right-sided empyema. He was admitted and treated with intravenous antibiotics and an intercostal …

View Full Text

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.

Linked Articles

  • Airwaves
    Andrew Bush Ian Pavord