Parapneumonic effusion

Case contributed by Dr Henry Knipe


Left chest pain with increased work of breathing.

Patient Data

Age: 45
Gender: Male


Large left pleural effusion with associated left mid zone airspace opacity with air bronchograms. Right basal opacity and a small right pleural effusion.


Left lower lobe consolidation and atelectasis. Moderate left pleural effusion extending to the oblique fissure. Very small right pleural effusion with minor atelectasis.


STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE ANTIGEN: Positive for pneumococcal antigen in urine. Result consistent with pneumococcal pneumonia.

Case Discussion

Pleural effusions that complicate pneumonia are called parapneumonic effusions, they are relatively commony affecting ~40% of patients hospitalized with pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a very common cause of community acquired pneumonia (and this is often referred to as pneumococcus pneumonia). 

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Case information

rID: 44224
Published: 12th Apr 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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