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Pleural Effusion – Five Questions To Ask Your Doctor

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Pleural Effusion refers to the accumulation of fluid in the pleura of the lungs. Pleura is made up of two layers of tissue that are separated by a small amount of fluid which protects and cushions the lungs. The fluid could be serous fluid, blood, chyle or pus.
1. What has caused Pleural Effusion in me?
The cause will be identifiable from the results of your diagnostic tests. However, any of the following reasons could cause a Pleural Effusion to develop:

• A transudative Pleural effusion may have been caused with the leakage of fluid from the blood vessels into the pleural space. This could have been due to:
• Congestive heart failure
• Liver cirrhosis
• Kidney failure
• Peritoneal dialysis
It is also possible that an exudative pleural effusion may have occurred wherein the inflamed pleura (due to the presence of a lung disease) has caused the blood vessels to leak. This could have been due to:

• Pneumonia
• Tuberculosis
• Lymphoma
• Lung cancer
• Breast cancer
• Kidney failure
• Asbestosis
• Mesothelioma
• Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
• Meigs Syndrome
• Pancreatic Pseudocyst
• Intra Abdominal Abscess

2. Besides the chest pain and cough, what other symptoms am I likely to experience? It is possible you experience:
• Fever
• Dyspnoea (Rapid respiration)
• Tachypnea (Shortness of breath)
• Hiccups
• Night sweats
• Weight loss
• Sputum in cough
• Increasing lower extremity edema
• Pulmonary infarction

3. Is Pleural Effusion infectious?
Pleural effusion is a symptoms because of the presence of an underlying medical condition. Pleural Effusion can be caused in another person in contact with you if your cause is an infectious one – such as caused by viral or bacterial reasons. Pleural Effusion cannot occur in another person if it caused out of lung cancer or any other non-transmittable condition.

4. What tests will I be expected to take beside the Chest X-ray I have undergone? Tests usually include any or a combination of any of the following:
• Thoracic CT Scan to view the amount of fluid accumulation and to see the cause of the Pleural Effusion.
• Thoracentesis for the removal of fluid with the help of needle under local anesthesia to be able to analyse the fluid.
• Pleural Fluid analysis after culture testing for bacteria and protein etc, for cell analysis, transudate-exudate differentiation.
• Blood tests to arrive at the complete blood count, number of WBCs, etc.
• Chest ultrasound to help figure if the fluid is free flowing or packed in one place in the pleura.

5. How long will I take to recover from Pleural Effusion?
This depends upon the condition and the severity of the condition you are afflicted with that has caused the Pleural Effusion. It also depends upon your body’s response to the treatment being given.


Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.) and the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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