Transudative chylothorax is a rare entity that has been associated with a limited range of clinical settings. To date, transudative chylothoraces have been described in only 13 patients, most commonly as a result of hepatic cirrhosis. Recognition of the transudative nature of these effusions is important to avoid unnecessary diagnostic testing and inappropriate management strategies. This report describes the presentation, diagnosis and management of two patients with transudative chylothoraces, and provides a brief review of the relevant literature. © Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005.