Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pleural Effusion and Cirrhosis


I had to post this everywhere. I had visited doctors for over a year, with the same symptom... extreme pain and the feeling like the wind had been knocked out of me on a daily basis.

What do I think the cause is? Plueral Effusion

Pleural effusion is excess fluid that accumulates in the pleural cavity, the fluid-filled space that surrounds the lungs. Excessive amounts of such fluid can impair breathing by limiting the expansion of the lungs during inhalation.

Signs and Symptoms of Plural Effusion

Pleuritic chest pain, chest pressure, dyspnea, and cough are the most common symptoms of pleural effusion. Pain may occur with little fluid formation as the symptom is related to the intense inflammation of the pleural surfaces. Chest pressure usually does not occur until the effusion is in the moderate (500-1500 ml) to large (>1500 ml) category. Dyspnea rarely occurs with small effusions unless significant pleurisy is present and often the patient will not complain of dyspnea until the effusion is massive with contralateral mediastinal shift on the chest x-ray. Cough is usually related to the associated atelectasis, which to some degree accompanies all pleural effusions. Classic physical findings associated with pleural effusions may occur when the volume begins to exceed 500 ml and include diminished breath sounds, dullness to percussion, reduced tactile and vocal fremitus, and occasionally a pleural friction rub. In contrast to pneumonia and atelectasis, crackles are not heard with an isolated pleural effusion.

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