pleural effusion

also called  hydrothorax 

      accumulation of watery fluid in the pleural cavity, between the membrane lining the thoracic cage and the membrane covering the lung. There are many causes of pleural effusion, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, and the spread of a malignant tumour from a distant site to the pleural surface. Pleural effusion often develops as a result of chronic heart failure because the heart cannot pump fluid away from the lungs, and fluid that seeps from the lungs places additional stress on the dysfunctioning heart. Large pleural effusions can cause disabling shortness of breath.

      If symptoms of pleural effusion develop, a tube is inserted through the chest wall into the pleural space to drain the fluid. Under certain conditions, such as malignant disease of the pleura (i.e., mesothelioma), pleural effusion can be treated by introducing an irritating substance called a sclerosing agent into the pleural space in order to stimulate an inflammatory reaction of the pleural surfaces. As the inflammation heals, tissue adhesions obliterate the pleural space, thereby preventing the accumulation of more fluid. Examples of sclerosing agents that cause an inflammatory reaction of the pleural surfaces include talc, doxycycline, and bleomycin. Adhesions that form as the inflammation heals obliterate the pleural space, thereby preventing accumulation of more fluid.

John Hansen-Flaschen
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pleural effusion — ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = eMedicineTopic = MeshID = D010996 Pleural effusion is excess fluid that accumulates in the pleural cavity, the fluid filled space that surrounds the lungs. Excessive amounts of such fluid can impair… …   Wikipedia

  • Pleural effusion — Excess fluid between the two membranes that envelop the lungs. These membranes are called the visceral and parietal pleurae. The visceral pleura wraps around the lung while the parietal pleura lines the inner chest wall. There is normally a small …   Medical dictionary

  • pleural effusion — noun 1. : an exudation of fluid from the blood or lymph into a pleural cavity 2. : an exudate in a pleural cavity …   Useful english dictionary

  • pleural effusion — An abnormal collection of fluid between the thin layers of tissue (pleura) lining the lung and the wall of the chest cavity …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • Malignant pleural effusion — is a condition in which cancer causes an abnormal amount of fluid to collect between the thin layers of tissue (pleura) lining the outside of the lung and the wall of the chest cavity. Lung cancer and breast cancer account for about 50 65% of… …   Wikipedia

  • malignant pleural effusion — A condition in which cancer causes an abnormal amount of fluid to collect between the thin layers of tissue (pleura) lining the outside of the lung and the wall of the chest cavity. Lung cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia cause most… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • pleural cavity — n the space that is formed when the two layers of the pleura spread apart called also pleural space * * * the space between the visceral and parietal pleura, which is normally very small as the pleural membranes are in close contact. The… …   Medical dictionary

  • Effusion, pleural — Excess fluid between the two membranes that envelop the lungs. These membranes are called the visceral and parietal pleurae. The visceral pleura wraps around the lung while the parietal pleura lines the inner chest wall. There is normally a small …   Medical dictionary

  • effusion — 1. The escape of fluid from the blood vessel s or lymphatics into the tissues or a cavity. 2. A collection of the fluid effused. [L. effusio, a pouring out] complex pleural e. a pleural e. without actual infection but with signs of a high …   Medical dictionary

  • Pleural disease — Infobox Disease Name = PAGENAME Caption = DiseasesDB = ICD10 = ICD9 = ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = eMedicineTopic = MeshID = D010995 Pleural diseases include: * Pneumothorax: a collection of air within the pleural cavity, arising… …   Wikipedia

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