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Calculator: Clinical criteria for exudative pleural effusion in adults (Light's criteria)


Calculator: Clinical criteria for exudative pleural effusion in adults (Light's criteria)

 
Input
 
Pleural fluid protein  
Total serum protein  
Pleural fluid LDH  
Serum LDH  
Upper limit of normal serum LDH  

 
Results
 
Important: Inputs must be complete to perform calculation.

 
 
Pleural fluid protein to serum protein ratio  
Pleural fluid LDH to Serum LDH ratio  
Pleural fluid LDH to Upper limit of normal serum LDH ratio  
 
Decimal precision  

 

 

Light's criteria interpretation

 
Criteria for an exudative effusion (criteria met are  highlighted )
Pleural fluid protein to serum protein ratio >0.5
Pleural fluid LDH to serum LDH ratio >0.6
Pleural fluid LDH to upper limit of normal serum LDH >0.66666
Classification
Transudative effusion is likely
Exudative effusion is likely

 
 

 
Notes
  • If the ratio of pleural fluid protein to serum protein is >0.5, then an exudate is likely.
  • If the ratio of pleural fluid LDH to serum LDH is >0.6, then an exudate is likely.
  • If the pleural fluid LDH is greater than two-thirds the upper limit of the laboratory's normal serum LDH, then an exudate is likely.
  • Please refer to UpToDate topic review on evaluation of pleural effusions for more information.
  • LDH: lactate dehydrogenase enzyme activity; PFP: pleural fluid protein; SP: serum protein; PFL: pleural fluid LDH; SL: serum LDH; ULN: upper limit normal.

 
Equations used
 
PFP_to_SP_ratio = PFP / SP
PFL_to_SL_ratio = PFL / SL
PFL_to_ULN_SL_ratio = PFL / ULN_SL

 

 
Only digits 0 to 9 and a single decimal point (".") are acceptable as numeric inputs. Attempted input of other characters into a numeric field may lead to an incorrect result.

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