What is the incidence of pleural effusions (fluid on the lungs) in the US?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Since pleural effusion is usually the manifestation of an underlying disease process, its precise incidence is difficult to determine. Nevertheless, the incidence in the United States is estimated to be at least 1.5 million cases annually. [11]  Most of these cases are caused by congestive heart failure, bacterial pneumonia, malignancy, and pulmonary embolism.

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