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Additive effect of dabigatran and high-dose aspirin in the development of haemorrhagic pleural effusion in a patient with tuberculous pleuritis

Duygu Karagül


Tuberculous pleuritis can rarely cause haemorrhagic pleural effusion. Dabigatran etexilate can have an additive effect on increasing the risk of haemorrhage. Aspirin cannot cause major haemorrhage, but in the elderly it can cause gastrointestinal bleeding via ulceration of the gastrointestinal mucosa. We report here the case of a 77-year-old male who presented to the hospital with a 2-month history of progressive dyspnoea. He had been taking dabigatran etexilate (220 mg) and high-dose acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin; 300 mg) daily for chronic atrial fibrillation. A chest X-ray revealed a moderately sized right pleural effusion confirmed by a computed tomography scan, which also showed bronchiectasis of both lungs. Dabigatran was discontinued and aspirin was decreased to the minimal therapeutic dose of 100 mg before thoracentesis was performed. Lymphocyte-predominant (50%) haemorrhagic fluid of 500 ml was drained, positive for acid-fast bacilli smear and polymerase chain reaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A chest tube was placed and an additional 1250 ml of haemorrhagic exudate drained out. We treated the patient with a routine regimen of antituberculous medication and the infection resolved without complications other than the bronchiectasis present before treatment. We think that the combination of dabigatran etexilate and high doses of aspirin increased the risk of pleural haemorrhage in this patient with tuberculous pleuritis

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-7262
print ISSN: 1995-7270