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.
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2013). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 6th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
Fischbach F, Dunning MB III (2015). A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 9th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology