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Thoracentesis

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

What To Think About

  • Thoracentesis may not be done for people who have:
  • A pleural biopsy may be done at the same time as a thoracentesis to collect a sample of tissue from the inner lining of the chest wall.
  • Thoracentesis may be done before another procedure called pleurodesis. During this procedure, a chemical or medicine (talc or doxycycline) is put into the pleural space, which triggers an inflammatory reaction over the surface of the lung and inside the pleural space. This in turn causes the layer of pleura attached to the lung to stick to the layer of pleura on the inside of the chest wall. This takes away the space between the pleura and prevents or reduces the collection of more pleural fluid. Pleurodesis may be done when fluid collects in the chest more than one time and the reason for the fluid buildup cannot be corrected.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology
Current as of November 1, 2012
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 01, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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