In patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis, hydrothorax is defined as the presence of peritoneal dialysate fluid in the pleural cavity. This PD complication has an incidence of high glucose concentration and a variable cell count.
Patients diagnosed with a hydrothorax should be advised to temporarily cease PD. If necessary, patients can be transiently converted to hemodialysis while waiting for resolution of the hydrothorax. A trial of re-introducing low pressure PD (e.g. small volume) can then be attempted. If this strategy fails, switching to hemodialysis is a viable option. Video-assisted talc pleurodesis or operative repair are other alternatives available to patients who wish to continue PD.