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a pleural effusion containing serous fluid.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

pleur·al ef·fu·sion

increased fluid in the pleural space; can cause shortness of breath by compression of the lung and/or increased intrathoracic pressure resulting in mediastinal shift and increased work of breathing; a transudative effusion has low protein content and is usually due to heart failure, uremia, or hypoalbuminemia; an exudative effusion has high protein and cell count and is due most often to inflammation, malignancy, or infection; an infected pleural effusion is an empyema; a pleural effusion associated with pneumonia is a parapneumonic effusion; a pleural effusion without actual infection but with signs of a high degree of inflammation (for example, low pH, low glucose, high lactate dehydrogenase, many white blood cells) is a complex pleural effusion and is frequently associated with pneumonia; a loculated pleural effusion is not free flowing in the pleural space but rather confined to one or more fixed pockets.
Synonym(s): hydrothorax
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


Accumulation of serous fluid in one or both pleural cavities.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Presence of fluid in one or both pleural cavities, usually resulting from cardiac failure.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012