Pleural Effusion (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- What is pleural effusion?
- What causes pleural effusion?
- What are the risk factors for pleural effusion?
- What are the symptoms and signs of pleural effusion?
- When should I seek medical care for pleural effusion?
- How is pleural effusion diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for pleural effusion?
- What are the complications of pleural effusion?
- Can pleural effusion be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for pleural effusion?
- Pleural Effusion At A Glance
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
What is the prognosis for pleural effusion?
Since a pleural effusion is a symptom of another disease, the prognosis depends upon the underlying illness. Pleural effusions are never normal. While they may be associated with treatable illnesses, their presence suggests that the underlying disease has advanced enough to cause significant inflammation of the lining of the lung.
Pleural Effusion At A Glance
- Pleural effusions describe fluid between the two layer of tissue (pleura)
that cover the lung and the lining of the chest wall.
- A pleural effusion is due to the manifestations of another illness.
- In general, pleural effusions can be divided into transudates (caused by fluid
leaking from blood vessels) and exudates (where fluid leaks from inflammation of
the pleura and lung).
- The most common causes of pleural effusion are congestive heart failure,
pneumonia, malignancies and pulmonary embolism.
- Thoracentesis is used to draw off the pleural fluid for analysis. A thin
needle is inserted between the ribs into the fluid collection.
- Treatment of the pleural effusion depends upon the underlying illness.
eMedicine.com. Pleural Effusion.
eMedicine.com. Pleural Effusion: Differential Diagnoses & Workup.
Last Editorial Review: 4/2/2010
Viewers share their comments
- Submit »
- Submit »
Find out what women really need.