How is pleural effusion diagnosed?

Imaging. either a chest xray, CT chest or ultrasound. Often we find pleural effusions on abdominal imaging as an incidental finding.
Exam and xray. The basic way to diagnose a pleural effusion is with an examination and auscultation of your chest and an xray of your chest.
Radiology. Pleural effusion can be suggested on physical exam and can be diagnosed by chest x-ray, ct scan, mri, ultrasound or thoracentesis.

Related Questions

Pleural effusion, what is that?

Collection of fluid. Plural cavity ( the space around lungs) normally will have very small amount fluid for lubrication around the lungs and chest wall. When detectable amount accumulates could be due to cancer cells deposits or could be due to heart&lung diseases( non cancers). Read more...

Anyone know what is a pleural effusion?

Fluid. Pleural effusion is a build up of fluid around the lung, and can compress the lung & cause breathing difficulty. The fluid can occur from heart failure, infection, tumor, etc. 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...

What should I do about pleural effusion?

Determine cause. Pleural effusions, or fluid build-up around the lungs, is not normal. Pleural effusions can arise from infection, heart failure, liver failure, malignancies or trauma. The treatment will depend on the cause. Your doctor will need to run some tests and may need to sample some of the fluid to characterize it. If there is a lot of fluid and you are symptomatic, thoracentesis may be required. Read more...