Doctor's Notes on Pleural Effusion
A pleural effusion is a collection of fluid in the pleural cavity, the space between the lungs and the chest wall. Many different kinds of conditions can cause a pleural effusion to develop. Potential causes include:
- kidney failure,
- congestive heart failure,
- traumatic injury,
- cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, and
- pulmonary embolism.
Signs and symptoms of pleural effusion include:
- chest pain,
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,
- asymmetrical expansion of the chest during breathing, and
- a dry or productive (producing sputum) cough.
Other associated symptoms may include pleurisy, which is a pain in the chest that occurs during breathing. If an infection is the cause of a pleural effusion, symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, and decreased appetite may also occur.
What Is the Treatment for Pleural Effusion?
Treatment for pleural effusion depends upon the underlying cause and symptoms. If the effusion is causing difficulty breathing, the effusion may be drained by inserting a needle into the pleural cavity (thoracentesis) or placement of a chest tube to remove the fluid. Other treatments may include:
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) QuizQuestion
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the same as adult-onset asthma.See Answer
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