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Pleural Effusion

Pleural Effusion

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Published by: Khalid Mahmud Arifin on Jun 27, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/25/2013

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Pleural effusion
Alternative names
 
Fluid in the chest; Pleural fluid
 
Definition
 
A pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid between the layers of the membrane that lines thelungs and chest cavity.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
 
Your body produces pleural fluid in small amounts to lubricate the surfaces of the pleura, the thinmembrane that lines the chest cavity and surrounds the lungs. A pleural effusion is an abnormalcollection of this fluid.Two different types of effusions can develop:
Transudative pleural effusions are often caused by abnormal lung pressure.Congestiveheart failureis the most common cause.
Exudative effusions form as a result of inflammation (irritation and swelling) of the pleura.This is often caused by lung disease. Examples includelung cancer , pneumonia, tuberculosis and other lung infections, drug reactions, asbestosis, andsarcoidosis.
Symptoms
 
Chest pain, usually a sharp pain that is worse with cough or deep breaths
Rapid breathingThere may be no symptoms.
Signs and tests
 
During a physical examination, the doctor will listen to the sound of your breathing with astethoscope and may tap on your chest to listen for dullness.The following tests may help to confirm a diagnosis:
Ultrasound of the chest
Thoracentesis

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