Pleural Effusion

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just this week, I've come across 2 patients with massive pleural effusion. Thought of sharing with my fellow colleagues since this is indeed a popular topic for bedside discussion or even exam.

This 80 y.o patient presented to the A&E with 2/7 progressive SOB and subsequently an AP CXR was taken
A 55 y.o patient with a known history of DM and HPT presented with generalized edema, ascites, peripheral upper and lower limb swelling and facial puffiness.

Pleural effusion can be divided into unilateral or bilateral.
1) What are the common causes for pleural effusion
2)What is the difference between transudation and exudation. What is the Light's criteria?
3)What are the clinical signs of pleural effusion
4)What are the investigations that you would order for the above patients to find out the underlying aetiology.