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Lung diseases

What does fluid in the lungs mean?

01/30/2007

Question:

After several weeks of fever, sweats, tests, my brother was diagnosed with an abcess on his liver. After a week of draining the abcess, and heavy antibiotics, he started the fevers, shakes, sweats again, and they now find fluid in his lungs. What could be causing this? They are going to test the fluid from the lungs, what are they looking for?

Answer:

The liver sits right beneath the right diaphragm and lung.  If the liver abscess was near the lung, it could cause inflammation and the build up of fluid in the pleural space that surrounds the lung.  To test the fluid a small needle is inserted between the ribs and into the fluid collection and a sample of fluid removed.  The fluid is then tested to determine if it is infected and what type of cells it contains.  Other biochemical tests are also usually performed on the fluid.

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Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati