Painful Breathing? Chest Pain? It Could Be Pleural Effusion

Painful Breathing? Chest Pain? It Could Be Pleural Effusion

Painful Breathing? Chest Pain? It Could Be Pleural EffusionPleural 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
  • Infections
  • Heart failure
  • Malignant cancers
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Cirrhosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Autoimmune diseases

CONTINUE READINGDiagnose and Treat Pleural Effusion
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Learn more about Thoracic Surgery in Ocala.

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