What factors affect the morbidity and mortality rates associated with pleural effusions (fluid on the lungs)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Morbidity and mortality of pleural effusions are directly related to cause (and if applicable, staging) of the underlying disease at the time of presentation, as well as biochemical findings in the pleural fluid.

Morbidity and mortality rates in patients with pneumonia and pleural effusions are higher than those in patients with pneumonia alone. Parapneumonic effusions, when recognized and treated promptly, typically resolve without significant sequelae. However, untreated or inappropriately treated parapneumonic effusions may lead to empyema, constrictive fibrosis, and sepsis.


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