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Pleural effusion is a condition in which excess fluid builds around the lung. Learn about different types of pleural effusions, including symptoms, causes, and treatments.
A pleural effusion is a buildup of fluid in the pleural space, an area between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and the chest wall. It may also be referred to as effusion or pulmonary effusion. The type of fluid that forms a pleural effusion may be categorized as either transudate or exudate.
Pleural effusion is fluid buildup in the space between the layers of the pleura. The pleura is a thin piece of tissue with 2 layers. One layer rests directly on the lungs. The other rests on the chest wall. There is normally a small amount of fluid between these layers.
Pleural effusion, sometimes referred to as “water on the lungs,” is the build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs. The pleura are thin membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity and act to lubricate and facilitate breathing.
Pleural effusion, also called water on the lung, is an excessive buildup of fluid in the space between your lungs and chest cavity. Thin membranes, called pleura, cover the outside of the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity.
A pleural effusion means that there is a build-up of fluid between a lung and the chest wall. The pleura is a thin membrane that lines the inside of the chest wall and covers the lungs. There is normally a tiny amount of fluid between the two layers of pleura.
Hydropneumothorax is defined as the presence of both air and fluid within the pleural space. An upright chest x-ray will show air fluid levels. The horizontal fluid level is usually well defined and extends across the whole length of hemithorax.
Interstitial lung disease (ILD), or diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD), is a group of lung diseases affecting the interstitium (the tissue and space around the air sacs of the lungs). It concerns alveolar epithelium, pulmonary capillary endothelium, basement membrane, perivascular and perilymphatic tissues. It may occur when an injury to the lungs triggers an abnormal healing response. Ordinarily, the body generates just the right amount of tissue to repair damage. But in interstitial lung disease, the repair process goes awry and the tissue around the air sacs (alveoli) becomes scarred and thickened. This makes it more difficult for oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. The term ILD is used to distinguish these diseases from obstructive airways diseases. In children, several unique forms of ILD exist which are specific for the young age groups. The acronym chILD is used for this group of diseases and is derived from the English name, Children’s Interstitial Lung Diseases – chILD. Prolonged ILD may result in pulmonary fibrosis, but this is not always the case. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is interstitial lung disease for which no obvious cause can be identified (idiopathic), and is associated with typical findings both radiographic (basal and pleural based fibrosis with honeycombing) and pathologic (temporally and spatially heterogeneous fibrosis, histopathologic honeycombing and fibroblastic foci). In 2013 interstitial lung disease affected 595,000 people globally. This resulted in 471,000 deaths.
Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is inflammation of the membranes that surround the lungs and line the chest cavity (pleurae). This can result in a sharp chest pain with breathing. Occasionally the pain may be a constant dull ache. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, cough, fever or weight loss, depending on the underlying cause. The most common cause is a viral infection. Other causes include pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, autoimmune disorders, lung cancer, following heart surgery, pancreatitis, chest trauma, and asbestosis. Occasionally the cause remains unknown. The underlying mechanism involves the rubbing together of the pleurae instead of smooth gliding. Other conditions that can produce similar symptoms include pericarditis, heart attack, cholecystitis, and pneumothorax. Diagnosis may include a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen may be used to decrease pain. Incentive spirometry may be recommended to encourage larger breaths. About one million people are affected in the United States each year. Descriptions of the condition date from at least as early as 400 BC by Hippocrates.