Pleural Effusion Causes, Signs & Treatment By Dr Chintan Shankar Patel


What is pleural effusion?

Pleural effusion sometimes referred to as “water in the chest”.
What are the symptoms of pleural effusion?
• Chest pain
• Dry, nonproductive cough
• Dyspnea (shortness of breath, or difficult, labored breathing)
• Orthopnea (the inability to breathe easily unless the person is sitting up straight or standing erect)
What causes pleural effusion?
The most common causes of transudative (watery fluid) pleural effusions include:
• Heart failure
• Pulmonary embolism
• Cirrhosis
• Post open heart surgery
Exudative (protein-rich fluid) pleural effusions are most commonly caused by:
• Pneumonia
• Tuberculosis
• Cancer
• Pulmonary embolism
• Kidney disease
• Inflammatory disease
Other less common causes of pleural effusion include:
• Autoimmune disease
• Bleeding (due to chest trauma)
• Chylothorax (due to trauma)
• Rare chest and abdominal infections
• Asbestos pleural effusion (due to exposure to asbestos)
• Meig’s syndrome (due to a benign ovarian tumor)
• Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
How is pleural effusion diagnosed?
• Chest x-ray
• Computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest
• Ultrasound of the chest
• Thoracentesis (a needle is inserted between the ribs to remove fluid)
• Pleural fluid analysis (an examination of the fluid removed from the pleura space)
How is pleural effusion treated?
• Thoracocentesis – remove all fluid (water) with syringe and needle
• Thoracostomy – a small tube inserted between the ribs into the chest cavity to remove all water.
• Thoracoscopy – Video-assisted Thoracoscopy, like laparoscopy a small cut is made between ribs and telescope passed into the chest cavity. Where lung is separated from the chest wall, all pus (water) is removed under vision.
• Antibiotics if infection and chemotherapy/radiotherapy if cancer.

Dr Chintan Shankar Patel
MBBS, DNB (TB & CHEST Physician)


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Muneer Shaik

5 years ago

Hello, Sir Good Morning, meri wife name Shaheen, July me uterus remove karvaya, fir bad me discharge hoke ghar aye, after fifteen days stomach pulgaya, sas me takilff hai aur cough hai, fir doctor KO bataye tho Chest x ray, ultra sound scan kare jab pata chal pulmonary edema, fir Blood test, creatine serum,CT abdomen kare , 2 D echo b kare, Sab kuch ok, jab Doctor internal medicine physician me kaha Tablet, Dijorplus LS, daily 1 lene KO kaha abitho OK, weight b kam hoagye meri wife ne, after 10 days review aao bole, agar lungs me thoda paani rahetho usko nikaalna padega bole sir please tell me lungs me paani kitna hai kya test karna, aur usko kitne jaldi nikaal na.


4 years ago

Reactional pani hua hai aisa lag raha hai.. Agar persistan ho to diagnostic kar sakte hai jan ne k liye kkya karan hai


3 years ago

Sir muje plural effusion he or tb ke karan he to forecox tablet di he 4 month ho gye but abhi right side chest pain he to ae kb close hoga

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