Chylothorax; Empyema; Hemothorax; Hydrothorax
A pleural effusion is an abnormal collection of fluid in the pleural space. It is usually a result of excess fluid production or decreased absorption. It is the most common pleural disease manifestation with causes ranging from cardiac disorders to inflammatory and malignant diseases.
Pleural effusions are categorized as transudates or exudates, based on the mechanism of fluid formation. Transudates result from an imbalance in oncotic and hydrostatic pressures. Transudative etiologies include congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, nephrotic syndrome, constrictive pericarditis, and atelectasis.
Exudates are a result of inflammation of the pleura or decreased lymphatic drainage. Exudates often require a more extensive evaluation and treatment than transudates. Because the permeability of the pleural capillaries to proteins is usually high in these cases, an elevated protein count results. Common causes of exudates include...
References and Further Reading
- Burrows, C. M., Mathews, W. C., & Colt, H. G. (2000). Predicting survival in patients with recurrent symptomatic malignant pleural effusions: An assessment of the prognostic values of physiologic, morphologic, and quality of life measures of extent of disease. Chest, 117(1), 73–78.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar