STEPHEN R. ASH, M.D.
A peripheral density on chest X ray often poses the question of pleural fluid versus parenchymal disease. Due to fluid loculation in inflammatory disease, a lateral decubitus film will not always indicate the presence of fluid. Thoracentesis done with a small needle will indicate free fluid; however, the depth of this fluid is not easily determined by probing with a small needle, and such probing is dangerous, since the lung is usually penetrated before any resistance is felt. Insertion of a large through-the-needle catheter is often done at this point, but the amount of fluid removed through this catheter does
ASH SR. Measurement of Thickness of Pleural Effusions Using an Impedance Probe: An Aid in Thoracentesis. Ann Intern Med. ;82:380–381. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-82-3-380
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1975;82(3):380-381.
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