Pleural Effusion

A pleural effusion is a collection of fluid abnormally present in the pleural space, usually resulting from excess fluid production and/or decreased lymphatic absorption.

  • Symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing

    • Occurs when lying flat


    Chest discomfort

    • Sudden, intense spike of pain

    • Pain radiates to shoulder, arm, neck, jaw

    • Occurs or worsens with deep inspiration, Occurs or worsens with laughing, coughing or sneezing

    • Severe

    • Center of the chest, Left side, Right side


    Cough with mucus or without mucus

    • With bloody mucus

    • Dry

    • Production of clear-white mucus, Production of yellowish-gray mucus


    Swelling in lower leg

    or Swollen neck vein

    Abnormally rapid breathing


    • Greater than or equal to 38°C (100.4°F), Less than 38°C (100. 4°F)

    or Weight loss

    or Excessive sweating

  • Risk factors
  • Heart failure

    Infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs

    Lung cancer

    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

    or History of Pulmonary Embolism

    or Myocardial infarction

    Kidney failure or on dialysis

  • Treatment
  • Treatment of pleural effusion is based on the underlying condition and whether the effusion is causing severe respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Some pleural effusions that are hard to be managed may require surgical treatment.
  • Recommended specialist
  • If you have Pleural Effusion, then visit a pulmonologist as soon as possible.

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