This is an answer to the case – Patient with Shortness of Breath and Cirrhosis

A 47-year-old man with a history of cirrhosis associated with alcohol abuse presented with a 2-day history of shortness of breath. Before this symptom developed, he had been treated with repeated thoracentesis of the right side for cirrhosis-associated hydrothorax.

On pulmonary examination, breath sounds were absent on the right side, and a succussion splash was audible in the right upper chest when the patient was gently shaken.

Chest radiography showed hydropneumothorax with a collapsed right lung and an adjacent thoracic air–liquid level, which was probably the result of repeated thoracentesis.

The patient was treated with chest-tube placement and diuretics. An analysis of the pleural effusion revealed transudative fluid without evidence of infection or cancer. The chest drain was removed 1 week later, after reexpansion of the lung.