Trapped lung

Case contributed by Eric F Greif


Chronic pleural effusion.

Patient Data

Age: 70 years
Gender: Male

Chest radiographs


Status post pleural catheter placement and pleural effusion drainage. Post evacuation chest x-ray demonstrates removal of the fluid with a trapped right middle and lower lobe. Notice how the prior pre evacuation pleural effusion causing passive atelectasis mimics the shape of post-evacuation. 

Case Discussion

This is also known as a tethered lung - a lung that following drainage of the pleural space does not fully re-expand.

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