What is the role of lab testing in the workup of hemothorax?

Updated: Jul 13, 2020
  • Author: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM; Chief Editor: Jeffrey C Milliken, MD  more...
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Answer

Measurement of the hematocrit of pleural fluid is virtually never needed in a patient with a traumatic hemothorax, but may be indicated for the analysis of a bloody effusion from a nontraumatic cause. In such cases, a pleural effusion with a hematocrit value more than 50% of that of the circulating hematocrit is considered a hemothorax.


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