Cardiothoracic Imaging
Contents Anatomy Techniques Findings Cases References


Pleural effusion, right posterior


Follow-up radiograph


The radiograph demonstrates a relatively flat opacified line at the right hemidiaphragm characteristic of an effusion. In addition, the upper surface of the right middle lobe fissure is more sharply visible which tends to occur when there is fluid in that fissure. The lateral radiograph shows loss of the costophrenic angle posteriorly on the right.

The amount and fluidity of the effusion can be better estimated by obtaining a right lateral decubitus which allows the fluid to layer out along the rib cage. Ultrasound at the lower thoracic boundary can allow directed needle placement for evacuation for portions of the pleural fluid if needed for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.

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December 18, 2004 (PL)
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