n the evaluation of a pleural effusion the first step is to differentiate thetransudates & exudates. It bears its implication in arriving at an etiologicaldiagnosis as the diagnostic and the therapeutic strategies for the transudatesand exudates are different. An exudative effusion requires extensivesometimes invasive procedures for its etiological diagnosis, on the other handa transudative pleural effusion requires treatment directed only towards the primary disease process. Histopathological examinations are confirmatory, butit has its limitations ions as the specimen yield is very low, sometimes up to30% [Escudero
1990] and being an invasive technique it has itshazards.The laboratory parameters such as Light’s criteria [Light
1972], pleural fluid protein value has variable results in the differential diagnosis asreported by many workers.
Keeping all these factors in mind the present study wasundertaken to study the significance of serum–effusion albumin gradient indifferential diagnosis of pleural effusion and compare with the alreadyestablished Light’s criteria.The present study comprised of 40 cases of pleural effusion inwhich the etiology was established by clinical examination, Radiologicalinvestigations, pleural fluid cytology, special laboratory methods andhistopathological examination of pleural biopsy specimen in selected cases. In the present series 75% were male and 25% cases were females belonged to age groupof 13–83 years. Among 40 cases of transudates and exudates, 50% had right sided pleural effusion, 30% had left sided and 20% had bilateral pleural effusions.
Differential Diagnosis of Transudates and Exudates:
Classically pleural effusion are divided into transudates andexudates. In the present study of 40 cases of pleural effusion 65% wereestablished as exudates and 35% as