12 doctors weighed in:
What are the key symptoms of pleural effusion?
12 doctors weighed in

Dr. Michael Sanders
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
8 doctors agree
In brief: See below
sometimes there are no symptoms if the effusion is small or develops slowly.
Other times and most often, patients are short of breath. They can also have pain due to the fluid irritating the lining of the lung - called pleurisy.

In brief: See below
sometimes there are no symptoms if the effusion is small or develops slowly.
Other times and most often, patients are short of breath. They can also have pain due to the fluid irritating the lining of the lung - called pleurisy.
Dr. Michael Sanders
Dr. Michael Sanders
Thank
Dr. Eric Toloza
Surgery - Thoracic
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Shortness of breath
The key symptom of a pleural effusion is shortness of breath .
.. Since fluid is denser than air, and since the chest cavity is limited by the rib cage (cannot not expand much), then accummulation of pleural fluid (or effusion) will cause the lungs to be compressed ... As more and more pleural effusion accummulates, then more lung is compressed, and shortness of breath gets worse ...

In brief: Shortness of breath
The key symptom of a pleural effusion is shortness of breath .
.. Since fluid is denser than air, and since the chest cavity is limited by the rib cage (cannot not expand much), then accummulation of pleural fluid (or effusion) will cause the lungs to be compressed ... As more and more pleural effusion accummulates, then more lung is compressed, and shortness of breath gets worse ...
Dr. Eric Toloza
Dr. Eric Toloza
Thank
Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz
Surgery - Thoracic
In brief: Depends
What you feel depends on what is causing the effusion to begin with.
An effusion may occur because of cardiac, pulmonary or pleural problems. The main symptom is varying degrees of shortness of breath. How much you are short of breath depends on how good your heart, and lung function was before it happened and the event causing the effusion.

In brief: Depends
What you feel depends on what is causing the effusion to begin with.
An effusion may occur because of cardiac, pulmonary or pleural problems. The main symptom is varying degrees of shortness of breath. How much you are short of breath depends on how good your heart, and lung function was before it happened and the event causing the effusion.
Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz
Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified, Emergency Medicine
23 years in practice
171K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors