Pleural Effusion

Causes - just about anything - Chris Nickson

Pleural Effusion
Pleural Effusion

image by: Department of Thoracic Surgery, Services Hospital , Lahore, Pakistan

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Wet, Wacky Lungs: A Quick Look At Pleural Effusions

There are many, many different causes of pleural effusion, with the most common being congestive heart failure. A diagnostic thoracentesis in conjunction with the application of Light’s criteria can help narrow the diagnosis.

An X-ray is simple and a mainstay in diagnosis of any patient with suspected pleural effusion. Ultrasound is rising as a more sensitive means of diagnosing effusion, and is also helpful in aiding drainage of effusion. CT has value in determining more complex underlying characteristics of an effusion, but is typically not essential to perform in the ED.

If a patient comes in unstable and an X-ray showing a large pleural effusion causing mediastinal…

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 Wet, Wacky Lungs: A Quick Look At Pleural Effusions

The most common cause of transudative pleural effusions is heart failure, and the most common cause of exudative pleural effusions is pneumonia. That being said, there are more than fifty causes of pleural effusions...

Light's Criteria for Exudative Effusions

Provides Light's Criteria to help determine if pleural fluid is exudative.

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