A patient with chyloptysis may show a number of clinical findings. The condition may either go on for some time before it is diagnosed or go unrecognized.


Clinical features of chyloptysis:

(1) The patient may have a concurrent chylous pericardial and/or pleural effusion.

(2) The patient may have a history of coughing up bronchial casts.

(3) The patient may complain of foul-tasting sputum.

(4) The texture of the sputum is abnormal and may be cheesy or resemble vomit.

(5) The sputum is milky white and does not separate into distinct layers on standing.

(6) The patient may have a history of recurrent episodes of respiratory distress.


A lymphangiogram may be helpful in demonstrating a connection between a lymphatic channel and a bronchus. A potential complication is contrast-induced pneumonitis so it is important to carefully select the contrast material used.


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