Pleural Effusion Là Gì


What every physician needs to know:

Trapped lung syndrome refers to lớn a condition in which the lung does not fully expand during pleural drainage lớn oppose the chest wall. This khung of non-expandable lung is the sequela of prior pleural inflammation that results in the creation of a fibrous peel on the visceral pleura. The resulting negative pleural pressure causes a pleural effusion ex-vacuo. As hydrostatic forces are the sole cause of increased pleural fluid formation, pleural fluid analysis will reveal a transudative effusion.

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It is important to lớn differentiate trapped lung from entrapped lung (also known as lung entrapment). Like trapped lung, lung entrapment refers to lớn a lung that will not fully expand with pleural drainage. The major difference is that lung entrapment may result from either pleural or non-pleural causes, while trapped lung results from pleural causes only. Patients with active pleural inflammation can have thickening of the visceral pleura, causing non-expandable lung, especially toward the end of pleural drainage. Non-pleural causes of lung entrapment include diseases that increase the elastic recoil pressures of the lung, such as endobronchial obstruction causing atelectasis or interstitial disease, such as lymphangitic carcinomatosis.

Are you sure your patient has trapped lung syndrome? What should you expect to find?

As patients with trapped lung vị not have active pleural inflammation, they are usually asymptomatic, and the effusion is often found incidentally on physical exam or chest imaging. If the effusion is sampled, pleural fluid analysis will reveal a transudate. Pleural manometry (measuring pleural pressure during thoracentesis) is simple lớn perform và is extremely useful in diagnosing patients with trapped lung.

Under normal conditions, if one were to add fluid to a closed system (the thorax), the pressure would rise; & as the fluid is removed, the pressure would fall until a steady state is reached. In the chest, the pleural pressure at functional residual capacity (FRC) is normally slightly negative (-3 to lớn -5 cmH20) because the balance of forces of the chest have a tendency khổng lồ expand, và the lung’s elastic recoil results in a tendency for the lung lớn collapse.

In the setting of trapped lung, despite the presence of a pleural effusion, the pleural pressure is low, và it drops significantly with the removal of fluid. This high pleural elastance (change in pressure/change in volume) is a hallmark of trapped lung.

Beware: there are other diseases that can mimic trapped lung syndrome:

Patients with lung entrapment are usually symptomatic from their effusion, as there is typically some active pleural inflammation, và pleural fluid analysis will demonstrate an exudative effusion. Common causes of lung entrapment include malignant pleural effusions, complicated parapneumonic effusions, & endobronchial obstruction that causes a post-obstructive pneumonia with atelectasis.

Pleural manometry in patients with lung entrapment can show a normal pleural elastance during the initial removal of fluid; however, as more fluid is removed and the lung does not fully expand, the slope of the elastance curve increases.

It has been shown that the development of a vague type of chest discomfort during thoracentesis is likely due lớn dropping pleural pressures và the operator should consider discontinuing drainage. In this setting, some authors advocate that atmospheric air be allowed lớn enter the pleural space in order to lớn bring the pleural pressure back to lớn a more physiologic range so as khổng lồ diminish the patient’s discomfort. A chest CT scan can be obtained to lớn demonstrate visceral pleural thickening và non-expandable lung (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Chest CT showing thickened visceral pleura


How and/or why did the patient develop trapped lung syndrome?

Pleural effusions resolve when the underlying disease that has caused the imbalance in hydrostatic or oncotic (or both) pressures has resolved. If a patient with lung entrapment has resolution of the active pleural inflammation, & the pleura heals without the development of thickening of the visceral pleura, the pleural physiology will return khổng lồ normal. Examples of this process include patients who have completely recovered from an episode of community-acquired pneumonia with a parapneumonic effusion or patients who develop a pleural effusion after cardiac surgery.

However, the same patient’s pleura may heal such that a visceral peel develops, and despite the lack of residual pleural inflammation, a pleural effusion persists due to the negative pleural pressure created by the visceral peel. In this example, the fluid early in the course of the patient’s illness would be exudative, và the elastance curve consistent with lung entrapment. Later in the resolution & healing process, it would be a transudate and the elastance curve would be consistent with trapped lung.

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Which individuals are at greatest risk of developing trapped lung syndrome?

What laboratory studies should you order lớn help make the diagnosis, và how should you interpret the results?

Patients with a trapped lung have a transudative effusion, whereas those with an entrapped lung have an exudative effusion. It is important to reviews the pleural elastance curves to distinguish between these two syndromes. The pleural fluid analysis & physiology can then be put into clinical context, as there may be overlap between lung entrapment và trapped lung during the healing phase of the disease.

What imaging studies will be helpful in making or excluding the diagnosis of trapped lung syndrome?

In both causes of non-expandable lung, post-drainage imaging may reveal a pneumothorax. The cause of pneumothorax in these patients may be likened to lớn pouring milk out of a bottle. As the milk pours out, a vacuum is created in the bottle and air enters. Similarly, in the setting of non-expandable lung, as fluid is removed, pleural pressure drops and eventually air has to lớn enter the pleural cavity. Though the air may enter from the atmosphere (i.e., between the catheter & skin), it is likely that local deformation forces develop & create small tears in the visceral pleura.

Unlike spontaneous or traumatic pneumothorax that are often localized khổng lồ the apex on an upright chest x-ray, pneumothorax attributable khổng lồ non-expandable lung may be located at the base, as the dependent part of the lung may fail khổng lồ expand fully. If a chest CT is obtained after drainage, visceral pleural thickening can be readily identified. Visceral pleural thickening may also be identified on ultrasound prior khổng lồ pleural drainage, & should alert the physician that the lung may not fully expand with drainage.

What non-invasive pulmonary diagnostic studies will be helpful in making or excluding the diagnosis of trapped lung syndrome?

Pleural manometry is easily performed at the bedside during thoracentesis, but it is necessary khổng lồ use the syringe-pump method as opposed to a vacuum bottle if pleural pressure is to lớn be measured. Although pleural manometry may địa chỉ cửa hàng five minutes to lớn the procedure, the information gained about the underlying pleural physiology is well worth the time & effort.

The simplest way lớn measure pleural pressure is by using the drainage tubing as a U-shaped water manometer. With the tubing connected to the catheter in the patient’s chest và the collection bag. The syringe is removed, & the difference in height from catheter insertion site to where drainage ceases is the pressure in the pleural space at the cấp độ of the catheter’s entry into the chest. For example, if fluid stops draining with the tubing 6cm above the catheter insertion site, the pleural pressure is +6 cmH20. If the fluid stops flowing with the tubing 16cm below the skin insertion site, the pleural pressure is -16 cmH20. Pressures are measured at regular intervals (e.g., every 240 mL, or four pumps of a 60 mL syringe), then plotted to lớn obtain the pleural elastance curve (change in pressure on the Y axis vs. Change in volume on the X axis). Recent studies, however, suggest that disposable digital manometers are more accurate than the “poor-man’s U-shaped manometer”.

The pressure curve of lung entrapment starts out with a normal & relatively flat pressure-volume curve with little change in pressure for any change in volume. As the terminal part of the lung fails khổng lồ expand with continued drainage, the pressure drops additionally with any given change in volume, và the curve steepens. The pressure curve of trapped lung typically starts out at zero or slightly negative và drops precipitously during the initial withdrawal of pleural fluid.

What diagnostic procedures will be helpful in making or excluding the diagnosis of trapped lung syndrome?

As pleural manometry is easy to lớn perform & does not showroom additional risk or cost to the procedure, it should be performed during every thoracentesis. The air-contrast chest CT scan và sometimes chest ultrasonography may show visceral pleural thickening.

What pathology/cytology/genetic studies will be helpful in making or excluding the diagnosis of trapped lung syndrome?

Not applicable.

If you decide the patient has trapped lung syndrome, how should the patient be managed?

Dyspnea in patients with pleural effusion is due to lớn the chest wall (primarily diaphragm) operating at a disadvantageous position on its length-tension relationship rather than from either hypoxemia or lung collapse. As such, dyspnea secondary to lớn lung entrapment (such as from malignant pleural effusions) can be relieved by implantation of a tunnelled pleural catheter. Despite the lung’s not expanding, their dyspnea improves because the diaphragm can now function more effectively.

As the large majority of patients with trapped lung are asymptomatic, treatment of their pleural effusion is not necessary. However, some patients may be dyspneic from a restrictive ventilatory defect và may benefit from decortication. It is important lớn make sure the patient’s dyspnea is due to the non-expandable lung & not another underlying cardiopulmonary condition before sending the patient for decortication.

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What is the prognosis for patients managed in the recommended ways?

What other considerations exist for patients with trapped lung syndrome?

Not applicable.