Left lung hypoplasia with a right tuberculous pleural effusion after childbirth: A case report

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Unilateral hypoplasia of the lung is a rare congenital condition, the mechanism of which is poorly understood. Primary pulmonary hypoplasia occurring in an adult is extremely rare and we present what is probably the first case of a link to a tuberculous pleural effusion in a young woman after childbirth.

Patient concerns:

Herein, we describe a 31-year-old woman with left lung hypoplasia, and she not only survived to adulthood without problems, but was able to deliver a baby in natural labor.


Left lung hypoplasia, right tuberculous pleural effusion.


We initiated an anti-tuberculosis treatment for this patient with dose adjustments to her weight of isoniazid (0.3 g/day), rifampicin (0.45 g/day), pyrazinamide (1.5 g/day), and ethambutol (0.75 g/day) for 2 months then isoniazid and rifampicin for another 4 months.


Ten days later after beginning therapy, she became afebrile and the pleural effusion resolved. No recurrence was observed during a 6-month follow-up period.


In clinical practice, if one sees a chest x-ray revealing complete or incomplete opacification of a hemithorax with volume loss and history of repeated respiratory infections, one should consider the possibility of unilateral pulmonary hypoplasia. In such cases, regular close follow-up is important to minimize infections and to prevent development of cor pulmonale or respiratory failure.

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