CEN Case Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 189–194 | Cite as

Usefulness of a pleuroperitoneal shunt for treatment of refractory pleural effusion in a patient receiving maintenance hemodialysis

  • Masato HabukaEmail author
  • Toru Ito
  • Yuta Yoshizawa
  • Koji Matsuo
  • Shuichi Murakami
  • Daisuke Kondo
  • Hiroshi Kanazawa
  • Ichiei Narita
Case Report


Refractory pleural effusion can be a life-threatening complication in patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis. We report successful treatment of refractory pleural effusion using a Denver® pleuroperitoneal shunt in one such patient. A 54-year-old Japanese man, who had previously undergone left nephrectomy, was admitted urgently to our department because of a high C-reactive protein (CRP) level, right pleural effusion, and right renal abscess. Because antibiotics proved ineffective and his general state was deteriorating, he underwent emergency insertion of a thoracic drainage tube and nephrectomy, and hemodialysis was started. Although his general state improved slowly thereafter, the pleural effusion, which was unilateral and transudative, remained refractory and therefore he needed to be on oxygenation. To control the massive pleural effusion, a pleuroperitoneal shunt was inserted. Thereafter, his respiratory condition became stable without oxygenation and he was discharged. His general condition has since been well. Although pleural effusion is a common complication of maintenance hemodialysis, few reports have documented the use of pleuroperitoneal shunt to control refractory pleural effusion. Pleuroperitoneal shunt has been advocated as an effective and low-morbidity treatment for refractory pleural effusion, and its use for some patients with recurrent pleural effusion has also been reported, without any severe complications. In the present case, pleuroperitoneal shunt improved the patient’s quality of life sufficiently to allow him to be discharged home without oxygenation. Pleuroperitoneal shunt should be considered a useful treatment option for hemodialysis patients with refractory pleural effusion.


Refractory pleural effusion Hemodialysis Pleuroperitoneal shunt 



We would like to thank all of the medical staff who managed this patient at our Division of Clinical Nephrology and Rheumatology.

Author contributions

MH, TI, YY, KM, SM, DK, and HK were involved in the clinical care of the patient, managed the literature searches, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. IN helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version.


No funding was received for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval and consent

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and any accompanying images.

Availability of data and material

The dataset supporting the conclusions of this article was included within the article and its additional file.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Nephrology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masato Habuka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Toru Ito
    • 2
  • Yuta Yoshizawa
    • 2
  • Koji Matsuo
    • 3
  • Shuichi Murakami
    • 1
  • Daisuke Kondo
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Kanazawa
    • 4
  • Ichiei Narita
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Nephrology and RheumatologyNiigata City General HospitalNiigata cityJapan
  2. 2.Division of Clinical Nephrology and RheumatologyNiigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesNiigataJapan
  3. 3.Division of NephrologyItoigawa Sogo HospitalNiigataJapan
  4. 4.Division of Cardiovascular SurgeryNiigata Minami HospitalNiigataJapan

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