Doctor insights on:
Malignant Pleural Effusion Death
Can be any color but malignant pleural fluid is often bloody
Fluid around lungs has many causes. It can be exudate (thick i.E pus from infection, malignancy etc) or transudative (heart failure). It may be treated based on the problem found by sampling (thoracentesis). Labs on the fluid help the clinician determine the etiology. For recurring pleural fluid, sometime pleuradesis is necessary to hep prevent recurrance. Need ...Read more
I am sorry to hear about your mother's illness.
There is no easy answer on this--i have seen spans of weeks to years. A lot has to do with her pre-illness condition, amount of weight loss, symptoms, time in the hospital.
I try in my own practice to emphasize "quality of life" as more important than "quantity of life."
i have seen people do better than expected; maintain realistic hope. ...Read more
My mother, 77, was recently diagnosed w Stage IV lung cancer w malignant pleural effusion. She started spitting up yellow bile. Is it spreading?
Time will tell: This is a complicated question. It frequently can regress with treatment but much is dependent on type of malignancy, nutritional status, tumor burden and location as well as overall status. It needs to be watched carefully. ...Read more
Fluid pleural space: The pleusa is a specialized tissue that lines the lung (visceral pleura) and the thorax (parietal pleura), every day it is estimated up to 9 liters of fluid could be exchanged in between the pleuras. This fluid traverses the pleural spaces and gets absorbed in the visceral pleuras. The process is seamless but conditions that affect the pleura or the lungs may result in fluid buildup in the space. ...Read more
Usually bad sign: There are many causes of pleural effusion, most of which are effects of other diseases. Congestive heart, liver and kidney failure tend to creat fluid effusions. Many types of cancers cause malignant effusions of cancer cells. Pneumonia can cause empyema, which is a pus effusion. Trauma can cause a bloody effusion. Damage to lungs can also cause. Treat underlying cause or drain by tube or aspirate. ...Read more
Shortness of breath: It depends on what is causing it and how large it is. The more fluid the more it compresses and collapses the lung. The collapsed lung can not breathe for you. Effusions multifactorial, inflammation, heart failure, pneumonitis, cancer, post obstructive pneumonia, heart failure, kidney failure, hypoalbuminemia, granulomatosis etc. Shortness of breathatrestorexcertioninability to breathe laying flat. ...Read more
Please evaluate cardiac function and for infectious causes. Malignancy is another possible cause.
The fluid may be analyzed and if the effusion is causing respiratory compromise a chest tube may be placed immediately.
Depending on the cause and size of the effusion, your pulmonary specialist, will determine the need for chest tube placement. ...Read more
Effusion...: There is always a small amount of fluid around the lung to lubricate the surfaces for breathing. A pleural effusion is when there is excess fluid in this space surrounding the lung. Depending on the cause of the effusion, if it is small and the cause resolves, the pleural fluid can get re-absorbed without the need for drainage. ...Read more
As many as needed: As many times as needed until correction of the causative process can be addressed. Question is too inespecific to give context to a more thorough explanation and answer. ...Read more
Could decrease: Ventilation is measures as volume/ time. If there is less volume then there is likely less ventilation. Depending on the patients reserves, thy may have variing amounts of compromise. ...Read more
No limit: Generally, no limit on "how many times". However, the more times someone undergoes an invasive procedure the greater risk of complications. Key to preventing recurrence is answering "why did you get the effusion? ". Then treat the primary cause. Be well. ...Read more
Probably not...: This condition is typically treated with antibiotcs and drainage of the effusion with a chest tube if it is large enough. Generally it is not fatal; however, if severe enough & not responsive to treatment, this can be very serious. ...Read more
Depends: The main risk is if infection is present in the space between the lung and the chest wall (pleural effusion) or the heart and the lining of the heart (pericardial effusion). If the patient is having fever, chills or night sweats the fluid should be drained to exclude active disease/infection. ...Read more
Common....: Atelectasis and pleural effusion can both occur with pneumonia. Atelectasis can heal faster if the patient takes frequent deep breaths and the use of an incentive spirometer will help with this. Ask your doctor to prescribe an incentive spirometer for you. The fluid around the lung will get reabsorbed over time. Get a repeat chest xray to make sure your lungs completely heal. Hope you feel better ...Read more