Pleural effusion is an unusual amount of fluid in the lungs. This can lead to many conditions, so even if the effusion in the pleural cavity can be dehydrated, the doctor will probably manage treatment for anything caused. The pleura is a pencil-thin membrane that lines the surface of the lungs and the inside of the chest. When you have pleural effusion, the fluid accumulates in the space between the layers of the pleura. Usually, in the pleural space, there are only teaspoons of liquid fluid that allow the lungs to move smoothly in the chest cavity while breathing.

pleural effusion symptoms

You can not have them. Symptoms are more likely to occur when the pleural effusion is moderate or severe, or if there is also inflammation.

If you have symptoms, they may include:

Shortness of breath
Chest pain, especially in deep breathing (this is called pleurisy or pleural pain).


pleural effusion other symptoms (Causes)

A wide range of things can cause pleural effusion. Some of the more common ones are:

The spill from other organs. This usually happens in the case of congestive heart failure, when the heart does not pump blood properly into the body. But it can also come from the liver or kidney disease when fluid accumulates in your body and penetrates into the pleural space.

Cancer. Usually, lung cancer is a problem, but other cancers that have spread in the lungs or pleura can also cause them.

Infections. Some diseases that lead to pleural effusion are pneumonia or tuberculosis.

Autoimmune conditions. Lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are some of the diseases that can cause it.

Pulmonary embolism. It is blockage of the artery in one of the lungs and can lead to pleural effusion.


Types of pleural effusions

There are several types of pleural effusion, each of which has different causes and treatment options. The first classification of pleural effusion is either permeated or exudative.


Transudational pleural effusion

This type is caused by fluid leakage into the pleural space due to a low number of blood proteins or increased blood pressure in the blood vessels. The most common cause is congestive heart failure.

Exudative effusion
This type is caused by blocked lymph or blood vessels, inflammation, tumors, lung damage
Typical conditions that can lead to this type of pleural infusion are a pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, and fungal infections.


Complicated and uncomplicated pleural effusion

There are also complicated and uncomplicated pleural effusions. Uncomplicated pleural effusions contain fluid without symptoms of infection or inflammation. They are much less likely to cause permanent lung problems.

Complicated pleural effusions, however, contain fluid with a significant infection or inflammation. They require immediate treatment, which often includes chest drainage.



Your physician will ask you about your symptoms and give you a physical exam. He touches the chest and listens with a stethoscope.

To confirm that you have pleural effusion, you need to perform imaging tests, such as:

Chest X-ray. Pleural effusion appears white on the X-ray, while the air space looks black. If the pleural effusion is likely, you can get more X-ray films when you lie on your side. They can show if the fluid flows freely in the pleural space.

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