Malignant Pleural Effusion

What is malignant pleural effusion?
Malignant pleural effusion

A malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is the build-up of fluid and cancer cells that collects between the chest wall and the lung.

Pleura surrounding your lungs and lining the inside of your chest. A small amount of fluid in this area is normal. It helps the lungs move in your chest as you breathe. Cancer and other conditions can cause fluid to build up. A pleural effusion can be serious and life-threatening, but it is treatable.

How bad is my malignant pleural effusion?

Mild: Asymptomatic; clinical or diagnostic observations only; intervention not indicated

Moderate: Symptomatic; medical intervention indicated (fat-restricted diet); thoracentesis or tube drainage indicated

Severe: Severe symptoms; elective operative intervention indicated

How to manage mild symptoms?

Treatment for a pleural effusion can be given in a hospital or an outpatient setting. There are several methods (thoracentesis, tube thoracostomy, Catheter, shunt, surgery) available to remove the fluid.

How to manage severe malignant pleural effusion? ?

It can cause uncomfortable side effects. Seek medical help if you experience 

What are the causes?
  1. Certain types of cancer:

2. Cancer treatments: Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, abdominal surgery, and certain medications can cause pleural effusion.

3. Other health conditions: 

  • Blood clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  • Heart disease or heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Airway obstruction or lung collapse
  • Poor nutrition, causing low protein levels

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