Pleural effusion

Lung with fluid buildup in pleural space, with detail of pleural space and fluid buildup.

Pleural effusion is a buildup of fluid in the space between tissues lining the lungs and the chest wall. This area is called the pleural space. Because of the fluid buildup, the lungs may not be able to expand completely. This can make it hard to breathe.

Current as of: November 13, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.