Approximately 1 million pleural effusions are diagnosed each year. The clinical importance of pleural effusions ranges from incidental manifestations of cardiopulmonary diseases to symptomatic inflammatory or malignant diseases that require urgent evaluation and treatment.
The normal pleural space contains approximately 1 mL of fluid, representing the balance of hydrostatic and oncotic forces in the visceral and parietal pleural vessels and lymphatic drainage. Pleural effusions result from disruption of this balance
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