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Pleural effusion (Diagnosis)

Diagnosis:

Radiograph of the chest- Chest X-ray shows us changes in lung parenchyma, associated complications ~ signs of pulmonary infections or heart failure.

pleural-effusion

The yellow arrow shows the fluid accumulation in pleural space called pleural effusion

The red arrow shows evidence of infection at the top of right lung.

CT Scan of the chest – is carried out to study more minute changes in the lung parenchyma like signs of infection , lung abscess and characterizing the lung fluid. It also gives a better picture of muscle, other organs, bones and fat.

CT-chest-2

Ultrasonography: helps in localizing, characterizing, quantifying the fluid and in marking the site for fluid tapping.

Pleural fluid analysis: helps in understanding the contents of the fluid and helps in narrowing down the diagnosis/ cause/

• F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography: for differentiating benign and malignant cause. It may also be positive in cases of Rheumatoid arthritis and Tuberculosis.

Percutaneous pleural biopsy: done in patients with undiagnosed exudative fluid and non-diagnostic cytology to differentiate between granulomatous and malignant cause.

Thoracoscopy and Fiberoptic bronchoscopy

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