Objective: Pleural effusion is a common diagnostic and clinical problem. Neoplasms and tuberculosis are the most frequent diagnostic causes of such effusions. Conventional laboratory methods for diagnosis of such effusion are inefficient because tubercle bacilli are rarely seen in direct examinations of pleural fluid. The present study evaluates interleukin-6 (IL-6), gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) as diagnostic tools in pleural effusion.
Methods: Interleukin-6, IFN-γ and ADA were measured in pleural fluid from the patients, with exudative pleural effusion from tuberculous, malignant and postpneumonic origin and transudative pleural effusion of systemic origin in order to evaluate the diagnostic utility of these.
Results: The three markers were detectable in all effusions with significantly high levels in exudative as compared to transudative effusions. There was a statically significant difference noticed in tuberculous as compared to malignant and postpneumonic origin and transudative pleural effusion.
Conclusion: We concluded that IL-6, IFN-γ and ADA levels in pleural effusion are sensitive parameters to differentiate an exudate from a transudate and they can also differentiate exudates of different aetiology. Finally, the results suggest that there is a remarkable difference in production of these three markers in exudative pleural effusions as compared to transudative pleural effusions.
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