What is the role of thoracentesis (pleural fluid aspiration) in the evaluation of suspected aspiration pneumonia?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Answer

Thoracentesis, also known as pleural fluid aspiration, is a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure in which fluid (or air) is removed from between the visceral and parietal pleurae. Analysis of the specimen can help determine the underlying cause of the pleural effusion as well as relief of symptoms attributed to the presence of pleural fluid. A chest radiographs should be obtained before and after this procedure to detect complications from the thoracentesis.


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