A practical approach to diagnosing pleural effusion in Southern Africa

Bruwer, J. W. ; Batubara, E. ; Koegelenberg, C. F. N. (2013)

CITATION: Bruwer, J. W., Batubara, E. & Koegelenberg, C. F. N. 2013. A practical approach to diagnosing pleural effusion in Southern Africa. CME, 31(9):320-325.

The original publication is available at http://www.cmej.org.za

Article

Excessive fluid accumulating within the pleural space is a common medical affliction and invariably indicates disease. [1,2] Under physiological conditions fluid enters and exits the pleural space at the same rate.[3] The rate of production is determined by Starling’s forces, i.e. hydrostatic pressure, osmotic pressure and membrane permeability, whereas the exit rate is determined by clearance through lymphatic drainage.[3] Alterations in any of these forces can lead to the formation of a pleural effusion.

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