Clinical diagnostic of pleural effusions using a high-speed viscosity measurement method

Cedric Hurth, Katherine Klein, Lena Van Nimwegen, Ronald Korn, Krishnaswami Vijayaraghavan, Frederic Zenhausern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We present a novel bio-analytical method to discriminate between transudative and exudative pleural effusions based on a high-speed video analysis of a solid glass sphere impacting a liquid. Since the result depends on the solution viscosity, it can ultimately replace the battery of biochemical assays currently used. We present results obtained on a series of 7 pleural effusions obtained from consenting patients by analyzing both the splash observed after the glass impactor hits the liquid surface, and in a configuration reminiscent of the drop ball viscometer with added sensitivity and throughput provided by the high-speed camera. The results demonstrate distinction between the pleural effusions and good correlation with the fluid chemistry analysis to accurately differentiate exudates and transudates for clinical purpose. The exudative effusions display a viscosity around 1.39 ± 0.08 cP whereas the transudative effusion was measured at 0.89 ± 0.09 cP, in good agreement with previous reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034701
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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