Pleural effusion

Case contributed by Ian Bickle
Diagnosis certain


Progressive shortness of breath over the past week.

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Female

Large left sided pleural effusion.

The meniscus is well demonstrated on the superolateral aspect indicating fluid in the pleural space.

The effusion is causing midline shift.

Case Discussion

A simple x-ray of a common pathology with classical signs and some sound teaching principles.

One cause of opacification of the hemithorax is a pleural effusion.

When large it will 'push' the mediastinum away from it.  

It will also have meniscus indicating fluid in the pleural space.

Consolidation, collapse and a pneumonectomy will not have these features.

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