Chylothorax

Also known as: chyle leak

What is ​Chylothorax?

Chylothorax is a rare disorder that affects the lungs of infants. Specifically, fluid from the lymphatic system (chyle) flows into the pleural space, or the space between the lungs and the chest wall.

What causes chylothorax? 

Chylothorax can be a genetic disorder passed on from parents. It can also be related to injuries, tumors or complications from other infections or diseases.

What are the symptoms of chylothorax? 

Children with chylothorax often have rapid breathing or shortness of breath. They might also have difficulty feeding and exhibit general discomfort.

What are chylothorax care options? 

The common treatment for chylothorax is to drain the fluid from the pleural space. This can be done while the baby is still in the womb or after birth. In some cases, medication might be needed to prevent the fluid from coming back into the space between the lungs and the chest wall.

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:05:37 PM

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David Drossner, MD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a pediatric cardiologist with The Heart Program.


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