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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is pleural effusion?
Pleural effusion occurs when there is a build-up of excess fluid in the pleural space around the lungs.
What are the symptoms of pleural effusion?
Signs and symptoms of pleural effusion include coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath and rapid breathing. Additional signs and symptoms can appear depending on the type and cause of the effusion.
What causes pleural effusion?
Pleural effusion can be caused by one of many disorders including heart failure, cancers, infections, pulmonary embolism (a blood clot blocking a lung artery), liver failure, pleurisy, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and pancreatitis.
How is pleural effusion diagnosed?
Pleural effusion is diagnosed from: the various symptoms and a medical history; a physical examination of the chest, and; imaging tests (chest X-rays, chest ultrasound, or computerized tomography (CT) scan). When aspirating the pleural effusion, a sample …
Can pleural effusion be cured?
Treatment for pleural effusion is effective, but the condition may recur until the underlying cause is successfully treated.
Will pleural effusion clear on its own?
In some people, pleural effusions (especially those caused by viral infection) will improve and go away by themselves without treatment within 1-8 weeks. For others, pleural effusions will recur as long as the underlying cause is not treated …
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 15 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Votes: 987 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Pleural effusion