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How will my doctor diagnose pleural effusion?

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Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and give you a physical examination. She will listen to your chest with a stethoscope and tap on your chest. Most often, doctors will confirm pleural effusions on imaging tests. You may get a chest X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound. Your doctor might also do something called thoracentesis. She’ll take a little bit of the fluid to test. To do this, she’ll insert a needle and a tube called a catheter between your ribs, into the pleural space.

SOURCES:

Mason, R. , 5th edition, Saunders, 2010. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine

Lab Tests Online, “Pleural Fluid Analysis.”

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is Pulmonary Embolism?”

Mayo Clinic: “Heart failure.”

Reviewed by Louise Chang on January 06, 2019

SOURCES:

Mason, R. , 5th edition, Saunders, 2010. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine

Lab Tests Online, “Pleural Fluid Analysis.”

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is Pulmonary Embolism?”

Mayo Clinic: “Heart failure.”

Reviewed by Louise Chang on January 06, 2019

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What are the two types of pleural effusion?

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