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What are common causes of a pleural effusion?

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A wide range of things can cause a pleural effusion. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Leakage from other organs: This is usually from congestive heart failure, but it can also come from liver or kidney disease when fluid builds up in your body and leaks into the pleural space.
  • Cancer: Usually lung cancer is the problem, but other cancers that have spread to the lung or pleura can cause it, too.
  • Infections: Examples include pneumonia or tuberculosis.
  • Autoimmune conditions: Examples are lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pulmonary embolism: This is a blockage in an artery in one of your lungs.

From: What Is a Pleural Effusion? WebMD Medical Reference

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 6, 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 6, 2019

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What are the symptoms of a pleural effusion?

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