DISEASES OF THE PLEURAL CAVITY
Pleural effusion is the accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity.
· Empyema refers to pus in pleural space.
· Chylothorax refers to chylous fluid in the pleural space secondary to obstruc-tion of the thoracic duct, usually by tumor.
Pneumothorax is the term used for air in the pleural cavity. It can be due to traumaticpenetrating chest wall injuries or spontaneous rupture of apical blebs in typically tall young adults (spontaneous pneumothorax). The term tension pneumothorax is used if a life-threatening shift of thoracic organs across midline occurs.
Hemothorax is the presence of blood in the pleural cavity. Trauma is a commoncause. There may be hypotension and shift of the trachea to the unaffected side.
Chylothorax is lymphatic fluid in the pleural cavity. Malignancy is a common cause.