- التليف الرئوي
- التهاب القصبات المزمن
- السعال المزمن
Around the lungs, there is a thin space filled with fluid known as the pleural cavity. Pleural effusion is a build-up of excess fluid in this space, which limits the space the lungs can expand into while breathing in. The result is impaired breathing, with the patient forced to take shallower breaths.
Pleural effusion is divided into two types:
Although in some cases patients with pleural effusion have no symptoms, a moderately-sized or large pleural effusion may cause:
A doctor will usually order imaging tests such as X-rays, a CT scan, or an ultrasound scan to view the lungs and the pleural cavity in order to make the diagnosis.
Pleural effusion can be caused by a wide range of things:
The condition that caused the pleural effusion must be diagnosed and treated to prevent any further leakage, for example, the doctor would probably prescribe antibiotics if the cause was pneumonia.
If the pleural effusion is not too big or is not causing any problems, it may not require treatment. However, if it is large and/or causing problematic symptoms, the fluid can be drained, either by a needle (thoracentesis), by a tube inserted into a hole the doctor has made in the patient’s chest wall (tube thoracostomy), or by a long-term catheter if the patient suffers recurrent pleural effusions, so that they can be drained when they occur.
In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to deal with inflammation or unhealthy tissue in the pleural cavity.