Types & Causes of Pleural Effusion
A pleural effusion is a buildup of fluid between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity.
The body produces pleural fluid in small amounts to lubricate the surfaces of the pleura. This is the thin tissue that lines the chest cavity and surrounds the lungs. Pleural effusion is an abnormal, excessive collection of this fluid.
There are two types of pleural effusion:
Transudative pleural effusion is caused by fluid leaking into the pleural space. This is from increased pressure in the blood vessels or a low blood protein count. Heart failure is the most common cause.
Exudative effusion is caused by blocked blood vessels or lymph vessels, inflammation, infection, lung injury, and tumors.