BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39045.538356.47 (Published 30 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1180
  1. Hangwi Tang, respiratory physician (hangwitang{at}yahoo.com),
  2. Khoa Tran, respiratory physician
  1. 1department of respiratory and sleep medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Q4102, Australia

    A 65 year old man had multiple admissions to hospital for pleural effusions and pseudomonas airways infection. All his nails had gone yellow five years before, and he had chronic pedal lymphoedema. The yellow nail syndrome consists of the triad of yellow nails, lymphoedema, and pleural effusion; bronchiectasis can also be associated with the syndrome. It may be caused by congenital poorly functioning hypoplastic lymphatics and can appear late in life. Yellow nail syndrome is believed to be rare, but most respiratory centres will have managed a few cases for bronchiectasis or pleural effusions. No specific treatment is available, and management is directed at symptoms.

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