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Archived Comments for: Is the volume of a pleural effusion predictable using the thickness of the pleural lamella measured by sonography as a reference?

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  1. Pleural Effusions Diagnosis

    ABdul Sumar, The Library

    1 December 2008

    That is quite a useful study, although it does not mention exactly how a pleural effusion is diagnosed. Here's some information missing:

    The first step to diagnose pleural effusions is a chest x-ray that shows fluids building up around the pleural spaces. A physical examination of the patient is conducted on the basis of medical history. In order to diagnose the patient with pleural effusions, the medical doctor must be able to detect atleast 300mL of fluids using upright chest films. If the level of fluids exceeds 500mL, this indicates clinical signs in the patient such as diminished breath sounds, decreased vocal reflection, etc. Once a pleural effusion is diagnosed, the cause of it must be concluded and this is done via a thoracentesis. A needle is inserted through the chest wall into the pleural space to extract a sample fluid, which is then tested for the following properties:

    i) Chemical compositions such as proteins, albumin, amylase, glucose and pH.

    ii) Bacterial cells to detect any bacterial infections

    iii) Count # of cells

    iv) Cytology or the study of cells to identify any malignant cells

    v) Other required tests to make a conclusive diagnosis


    Competing interests

    No competing interests

  2. Sonography pleural effusion diagnosis

    Hector Diaz, University Hospital of Sagua la Grande

    15 December 2008

    I strongly agree with Cardon and coworkers. Sonography at present is the must used method to determine the presence of pleural effusion. By the other hand, Dr. Sumar noted that by the clinical method, pleural efussions with not more than 300 ml can not be detected, I state that sonography is able to confirm the presence of minimum amount of pleural effusions, and guided by sonography a closed needle biposy can be performed is neccesary.

    Competing interests

    No competing interest