Thoracentesis and Pleural Fluid Analysis
(Lung Fluid Analysis)

Thoracentesis is performed by placing a needle through the chest wall and a removing a small amount of fluid from the lungs. This fluid is then examined for the presence of abnormal cells, and a number of other lab tests are done to help your doctor diagnose what is causing increased fluid within the lungs (pleural effusion). Thoracentesis is also done to remove excessive fluid, which will decrease lung function and cause shortness of breath and pain. Fluid around the lungs is seen in people with CHF (congestive heart failure), kidney disease, trauma, cirrhosis of the liver, low blood protein levels, infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, and cancer.

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