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Recognition Of Infrapulmonary Pleural Effusion.

J. A. Petersen
Published 1960 · Medicine

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Pleural effusion of the infrapulmonary type, though common, may not be recognized by conventional radiographic studies of the chest until the fluid has increased to considerable proportions. In its subpulmonary, basal, or diaphragmatic position the fluid forms as a layer in the pleural space between the concavity of the undersurface of the lung and the convexity of the dome of the diaphragm. In this position it is often overlooked because it masquerades as an elevated diaphragmatic leaf. The films are frequently interpreted as indicating elevation of the diaphragm with a small amount of fluid in the costophrenic gutter, whereas in fact the diaphragm lies at a normal or lower than normal level, and the quantity of fluid present is large. An observer who is suspicious of every apparent elevation of the diaphragm and cognizant of the appearance and diagnostic meaning of minimal amounts of fluid will discover that infrapulmonary effusion, although generally considered rare, is rather unrecognized than unusual...
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