Q:

What is pleural effusion?

A:

Quick Answer

Pleural effusion is a medical condition in which too much fluid builds up behind the pleura. These are the spaces between the membranes that encase the lungs. It is normal to have some fluid in these spaces, but when symptoms like shortness of breath arise, medical help should be sought.

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Full Answer

There are two types of pleural effusion. One comes from pre-existing conditions like heart failure, and the other is caused by infection or cancer.

Other symptoms of pleural effusion include a dry or productive cough, pain in the chest and breathing that is difficult and painful. If the condition is caused by an infection, there might be fever, decrease in appetite and chills.

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