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Yellow nail syndrome – report of a rare disorder

Peter Ogie Ikuabe
Ikenna Desmond Ebuenyi
Olugbenro Osinowo
Nathan Ebimobowei Onini


Background: The Yellow Nail Syndrome (YNS) is a rare disorder of unknown cause characterized by the trail of yellow and thickened nails, lymphoedema and respiratory manifestation. We have no record of any case report of yellow nail syndrome in our setting.

Methods: We reviewed the records of an 80 year old woman who presented with two weeks history of exacerbation in her three months history of cough, leg swelling, shortness of breath and left sided chest pain.

Results: She was found to have thickened and yellow nails, lymphoedema and pleural effusion. The pleural fluid had an acellular smear with Lactate dehydrogenase(LDH) of 2,214U/L, glucose was 11.9mmol/L and protein of 59g/L and culture yielded growth of streptococcus pneumoniae.

Conclusion: This case report highlights the need for a high index of suspicion in making such a diagnosis.

Keywords: Yellow nail syndrome, pleural effusion, leg swelling

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eISSN: 1596-2407