Pleural Effusion (Fluid in Lungs)

Symptoms: 

The symptoms include:

  • Chest pain, usually a sharp pain that is worse with cough or deep breaths
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Hiccups
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath

Sometimes there are no symptoms.

Tests to diagnose: 

The following tests may help to confirm a diagnosis:

  • Chest CT (Computerised Tomography) scan
  • Chest x-ray
  • Kidney and liver function blood tests
  • Pleural fluid analysis (examining the fluid under a microscope to look for bacteria, cancer cells, and protein level)
  • Thoracentesis (a sample of fluid is removed with a needle inserted between the ribs) 
  • Ultrasound of the chest and heart
Treatment: 

The treatment includes:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Putting medication into the chest that prevents fluid from building up again after it is drained
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery