HEALTH AND PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE*
Pleural effusions may develop as a complication of many local and systemic disease processes (1). In some instances, the cause of the effusion will be apparent from the associated clinical circumstances, for example, recurrent effusions in patients with exacerbations of congestive heart failure. However, even in this setting, effusions may develop as a manifestation of a comorbid condition, such as pulmonary emboli in a patient with congestive heart failure. At other times, pleural effusions, especially unilateral effusions, will occur in patients in whom no specific cause is obvious on the basis of a careful clinical examination. In these patients an
HEALTH AND PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE*. Diagnostic Thoracentesis and Pleural Biopsy in Pleural Effusions. Ann Intern Med. ;103:799–802. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-103-5-799
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(5):799-802.
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