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Diagnostic Imaging of Small Amounts of Pleural Fluid: Pleural Effusion vs. Physiologic Pleural Fluid

Igor Kocijančić

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 172 Kb

str. 1195-1199

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The aim of this article is to present an overview of our 10 years clinical research work and early clinical experience
with small pleural effusions. Small amounts of pleural fluid are severely difficult to identify with imaging methods
(chest x-rays and ultrasound). Nevertheless, it may be an important finding, sometimes leading to a definitive diagnosis
of pleural carcinomatosis, infection or other pathologic condition. Chest x-rays were used for many years for the diagnosis
of small pleural effusions. Lateral decubitus chest radiographs represented a gold standard for imaging of small
amounts of plural fluid for more than 80 years. In the last two decades, ultrasonography of pleural space became a leading
real-time method for demonstrating small pleural effusions. Furthermore, the advent of sonographic technology actually
enables detection of physiologic pleural fluid in some otherwise healthy individuals. In conclusion, new definitions
of the key terms in the field of diagnostic imaging of small amounts of pleural fluid seem to be justified. We suggest
that the term pleural fluid should determine physiologic pleural space condition while the term pleural effusion should
only be used in the cases of pleural involvement or pleural illness

Ključne riječi

pleura; pleural effusion; pleural fluid; ultrasonography; radiography; thoracic; physiology

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