Significant resolution of tuberculous pleural effusion on chemotherapy alone

Background: As a standard, significant pleural effusion, whether tuberculous (TB) or not, requires therapeutic thoracocentesis. We tested the hypothesis that standard anti-TB chemotherapy alone can resolve significant pleural effusion.

Methods: 20 eligible patients with TB pleural effusion of at least 30% of the hemithorax (10 with moderate-size and 10 with large-size effusion, respectively) were retrospectively reviewed for radiological resolution of their effusions at two, six and 12 months after commencement of standard six-month therapy.