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: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Hasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine