The management of a malignant pleural effusion is different from the management of a nonmalignant effusion, so an accurate diagnosis is important. Diagnostic tests may include the following:
Chest x-ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
CT scan: A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
Thoracentesis: The removal of fluid from the pleural cavity using a needle inserted between the ribs. This procedure may be used to reduce pressure on the lungs and/or to check the fluid under a microscope to see if cancer cells are present.
Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. If thoracentesis is not possible, a biopsy may be done during a thoracoscopy, a surgical procedure to look at the organs inside the chest to check for abnormal areas. An incision (cut) is made between two ribs and a thoracoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted into the chest. Samples are then taken for biopsy.
Malignant pleural effusions are a condition caused by malignancy. As many as 40 per cent of symptomatic pleural effusions are caused by malignancy.read more
Malignant pleural effusions is when pleural tissue is not able to produce a small amount of fluid that helps the lungs move smoothly in the chest.read more