Pleural effusion (commonly known as “water on the lungs”) is a result of an increase in the fluid between the two membranes that cover the lungs, separating them from the chest wall. These membranes, called visceral and parietal pleurae, naturally have a small quantity of fluid spread over them. However, when too much fluid exists, plural effusion occurs.
Plural effusion is generally found during a physical exam, on a chest X-Ray or during a chest ultrasound as it often presents with little or no symptoms. Patients who have symptoms report chest pain and/or painful breathing. Occasionally, a fever or cough may also be present. A number of conditions can cause pleural effusion, including:
- Hypoalbuminemia (low levels of albumin in the blood)
- Kidney disease
- Heart failure
- Malignant cancers
- Pulmonary embolism
- Inflammatory disease
- Autoimmune diseases
CONTINUE READING – Diagnose and Treat Pleural Effusion
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