Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Underlying Cause

Pulmonary Effusion Overview

Another name for Pulmonary Effusion is Pleural Effusion.

What is a pleural effusion?
A person with a pleural effusion has an abnormal collection of fluid within the chest cavity. Pleural effusions usually accumulate due another underlying disease process such as heart failure, lung infection, lung cancer, or another form of cancer. If a pleural effusion grows large enough, it can interfere with lung function and cause breathing difficulty.

What are the symptoms of a pleural effusion?
Symptoms of a pleural effusion depend on its size and underlying cause. The most common symptoms are cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, rapid breathing, and hiccups.

How does the doctor treat a pleural effusion?
Treatment depends on the size of the pleural effusion and the underlying disease process that is responsible for it. In some cases, it may be necessary to place a tube into the chest to drain the fluid. Smaller effusions may be treated with diuretic medications. Those who suffer from recurrent pleural effusions may have surgery performed to stop fluid from forming within the chest cavity.

Continue to Pulmonary Effusion Symptoms

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