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Identifying Malignant Pleural Effusion by A Cancer Ratio (Serum LDH: Pleural Fluid ADA Ratio).



We studied the diagnostic potential of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in malignant pleural effusion.


Retrospective analysis of patients hospitalized with exudative pleural effusion in 2013.


Serum LDH and serum LDH: pleural fluid ADA ratio was significantly higher in cancer patients presenting with exudative pleural effusion. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, pleural fluid ADA was negatively correlated 0.62 (0.45-0.85, p = 0.003) with malignancy, whereas serum LDH 1.02 (1.0-1.03, p = 0.004) and serum LDH: pleural fluid ADA ratio 0.94 (0.99-1.0, p = 0.04) was correlated positively with malignant pleural effusion. For serum LDH: pleural fluid ADA ratio, a cut-off level of >20 showed sensitivity, specificity of 0.98 (95 % CI 0.92-0.99) and 0.94 (95 % CI 0.83-0.98), respectively. The positive likelihood ratio was 32.6 (95 % CI 10.7-99.6), while the negative likelihood ratio at this cut-off was 0.03 (95 % CI 0.01-0.15).


Higher serum LDH and serum LDH: pleural fluid ADA ratio in patients presenting with exudative pleural effusion can distinguish between malignant and non-malignant effusion on the first day of hospitalization. The cut-off level for serum LDH: pleural fluid ADA ratio of >20 is highly predictive of malignancy in patients with exudative pleural effusion (whether lymphocytic or neutrophilic) with high sensitivity and specificity.

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