Light’s Criteria For Pleural Effusions

If any of the following conditions are met, it is an exudate, full of protein and turbid, unclear fluid. Think malignancy or certain infections.

Light’s Criteria

  1. Pleural fluid protein / serum protein > 0.5
  2. Pleural fluid LDH / serum LDH > 0.6
  3. Pleural fluid LDH > 2/3 x upper limit of normal serum LDH

Memory Aid

  • Pleural
    • Criterion 1 = protein
    • Criterion 2 = LDH
    • Criterion 3 = LDH again
  • Increasing numbers
    • 0.5
    • 0.6
    • 0.666666 to infinity

References

  1. MDCalc. (2018). Light’s Criteria for Exudative Effusions. [online] Available at: https://www.mdcalc.com/lights-criteria-exudative-effusions [Accessed 14 Sep. 2018].
  2. Exeter Clinical Laboratory International. (2018). Transudate or Exudate / Blood Sciences Test. [online] Available at: https://www.exeterlaboratory.com/test/transudate-or-exudate/ [Accessed 14 Sep. 2018].
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