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pleural effusion

Pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid between the layers of the membrane that lines the lungs and chest cavity.  The condition may result from heart failure, cancer, pulmonary embolism or inflammation.  If air is in the fluid it is called pneumothorax.  If a milky fluid is present in the fluid, it is called chylothorax.  If blood is present in the fluid, it is called hemothorax.


Symptoms may include:


  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain, usually a sharp pain that is worse with cough or deep breaths
  • cough
  • rapid breathing

Causes may include:



Treatment may include:


  • removing the fluid
  • medication
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • pulmonology

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    Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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