Prenatal diagnosis and natural history of fetuses presenting with pleural effusion

Rodrigo Ruano, Alan Saito Ramalho, Ana Karina Silva Cardoso, Kenneth Moise, Marcelo Zugaib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the natural history of fetuses presenting with pleural effusion. Methods: Between January 2005 and December 2009 all fetuses diagnosed with pleural effusion were followed up. Fetuses were divided into three groups: I, isolated pleural effusion; II, associated structural anomalies but normal karyotype; and III, chromosomal anomalies. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the association between prenatal ultrasound findings and perinatal death. Results: Fifty-six fetuses were included in the study. Associated structural or chromosomal anomalies occurred in 75.0% (42/56) of cases. Bilateral pleural effusion and fetal hydrops were associated with each other (p < 0.01) and with perinatal death (p < 0.05). Multivariate analysis indicated that only the presence of associated abnormalities was a statistical determinant of perinatal death (OR, 3.56; 95% CI, 1.48-5.64; p < 0.01). Conclusion: Fetal pleural effusion is often associated with other abnormalities, and this association has poor perinatal outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-499
Number of pages4
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Fetal pleural effusion
  • Fetal therapy
  • Hydrothorax
  • Non-immune hydrops
  • Pleuroamniotic shunt
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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