Current Research in Medicine

Current Management of Pleural Disorders

Jack Kastelik

DOI : 10.3844/amjsp.2013.110.121

Current Research in Medicine

Volume 4, Issue 1

Pages 110-121


A wide range of conditions can present with plural involvement. For this reason patients with pleural disorders may be seen by a number of different specialists. The most common pleural disorders include pleural effusion and pneumothorax. Pleural effusion and pneumothorax are defined as accumulation within the pleural space of fluid and air respectively. The most common disorders responsible for over 90% of pleural effusions include congestive heart failure, malignancy, infection and pulmonary embolism. The pneumothorax can be divided into primary spontaneous, secondary, iatrogenic or traumatic. This review article will discuss our current understanding behind the pathophysiology of pleural effusion. Common causes and less common conditions resulting in pleural effusion will be described. Investigations and management of patients with pleural dsiorders will also be discussed. In addition, recent advances in our understanding of etiology and management of pneumothorax will be covered. Investigations and management of pleural disorders require an understanding of the underlying pathology as well as the expertise in currently available interventional procedures. The main challenge remains to manage patients in accordance to the current guidelines, which is best achieved through specialist services. However, the knowledge related to pleural disorders remains of importance to many specialists.


© 2013 Jack Kastelik. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.