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Pleural Tap

From Mediwikis

This procedure involves passing a needle into the intercostal spaces in the mid axillary line to remove fluid or air from the pleural cavity. Fluid can then be collected and analysed to determine the cause of the pleural effusion:

Exudate

Has protein and other bits in it

Causes:

  • Haemorrhage
  • Infection
  • Malignancy
  • Iatrogenic

Transudate

almost no protein

Causes:

  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • Cirrhosis
  • SVC Obstruction

In addition, samples can be cultured to determine the type of pleural infection present.