Pleural effusion

Last updated: Saturday, 22, January, 2011
CausesAppropriate Tests

Pleural fluid - microscopy and culture (including  AFB if appropriate), protein, glucose, LD; cytology; flow cytometry for cell immunophenotyping FNAB, lesion biopsy, if indicated.

See also Pleurisy

Malignancy, especially

Carcinoma lung

Carcinoma breast

Mesothelioma

Lymphoma (non-Hodgkin's)

Hodgkin's disease

Infection, especially

Pneumonia

Empyema

See also Lung abscess

  • Bacterial, especially
    • Staphylococcus aureus
    • Streptococcus pneumoniae
    • Gram-negative rods
    • Anaerobes
    • Polymicrobial
    • Tuberculous

 

 

 

See Tuberculosis

  • Fungal

Usually associated with penetrating chest injuries.

  • Parasitic, especially
    • Entamoeba histolytica
    • Paragonimus westermani
    • Filariasis


See Amoebiasis
See under Lung abscess

Connective tissue diseases, especially

SLE

Other

Cardiac failure

BNP, NT-BNP.

Hypoalbuminaemia

Chylous effusion (thoracic duct trauma/obstruction) 

Pleural aspiration usually diagnostic; triglycerides if diagnosis doubtful.

Acute Pancreatitis

See Pancreatitis

Hypothyroidism

Haemothorax

Meigs syndrome