Understanding Pleural effusion :

Pleural effusion refers to the accumulation of fluids in the pleural cavity of the lungs. This cavity is called the space between the lung and the chest wall. Every average human body contains pleural fluid. While breathing, this fluid helps in the smooth expansion and contraction of the lungs.

Hence maintaining a balance of hydrostatic and oncotic pressure is vital. According to the best chest specialist in Kolkata, pleural effusion is prevalent. It constitutes a significant chunk of respiratory fatality cases.

Types of pleural effusion :

There are mainly two sorts of pleural effusion :

  1. 1. Exudative pleural effusion –

This type of pleural effusion has a high protein count above 3 grams/litre. It causes inflammation, and further, there are chances of protein leakage into the pleural space. Lung cancer, pneumonia, and tuberculosis are the leading causes of inflammation.

  1. 2. Transudative pleural effusion –

In transudative pleural effusion, the protein count is lower than 3 grams/litre. The fluid, in this case, moves across into the pleural space. The causes of fluid shifting would be congestive heart failure, hypoalbuminaemia, and Meig’s syndrome.

The best pulmonologists in Kolkata advise that knowing the pleural effusion will help determine the cause of the pleural effusion.

Investigating pleural effusion :

There might be a feeling of dullness when percussing over the effusion area. Because it is filled with fluid, making it harder to cause a resonant sound to percussion. When listening with a stethoscope, there are reduced breath sounds due to lack of air. If there is massive effusion, the fluid will push the mediastinum and the trachea across the chest’s side. This action causes tracheal deviation.

Some popular ways of inspecting pleural effusion proposed by the best bronchoscopy specialist in Kolkata would be a chest x-ray. Look out for :

  • A blunt in costophrenic angle. An angle down in the corner between the diaphragm and the chest wall is blunted rather than sharp.
  • Fluid in the lung fissures.
  • Large effusions consist of the meniscus when there is a curving upwards where it meets the chest wall and mediastinum.

Managing pleural effusion :

If the effusion is small, conservative management is accepted. Antibiotics help in this situation. With large effusions, the best asthma allergy specialist in Kolkata suggests a need for drainage or aspiration. One method would be Pleural Aspiration. A sizable needle is stuck at the end of the big syringe through the chest full into the effusion, draining the fluid.

The above method is not sufficient, and there is a chance of pleural fluid collecting again. A chest drain is a better approach to drain out the fluid and prevent it from recurring. Let us talk about Empyema. Empyema occurs when the pleural effusion is infected. While performing Pleural Aspiration, it will ooze out pus.

The aftermath :

In the time of this pandemic, Covid-19 has shown less contribution to the presence of pleural effusion. The best covid specialists in Kolkata have found out that more underlying medical conditions are considered.

Pleural effusion is a fatal disease, and if not diagnosed right, it can lead to death. The outcome varies depending on the type, cause, and the patient. However, the result is usually low.