Pleural Effusion (Fluid In the Chest or On the Lung)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Steven Doerr, MD
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

Understanding COPD

What are the signs and symptoms of pleural effusion?

Common symptoms associated with pleural effusion may include the following:

Deep breathing typically increases the pain. Symptoms of fever, chills, and loss of appetite often accompany pleural effusions caused by infectious agents.

What are the risk factors for pleural effusion?

Pleural effusions are caused by the underlying medical problems listed previously, therefore the presence of any of these medical problems are risk factors for the development of pleural effusions. It is important to note, however, that not all individuals with these medical problems will develop pleural effusions. Congestive heart failure is the most common cause of transudative pleural effusions, while infection (pneumonia) and malignancy are the most common causes of exudative pleural effusions.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/9/2016

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