Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove
fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall called the pleural
space. Results from a lab are usually available in 1 to 2 working days. If the
fluid is being tested for an infection, such as
tuberculosis, results may not be available for several
A small amount of clear,
colorless, or pale yellow pleural fluid, usually less than
20 mL (0.7 fl oz), is normally
present. No infection, inflammation, or cancer is found.
A large amount of pleural
fluid is present.
Fluid may be labeled as either
a transudate or an exudate. The difference between these two types of fluid has
to do with the amount of protein and other substances found in the