What causes pleural effusion (stage 4 Adenocarcinoma)

My mum was admitted to hospital tonight as she was becoming breathless on very little exertion. The chest X-ray showed a pleural effusion and I am just wondering what can cause this? Does it always mean a malignant effusion? As far as we know my mum has metastases to her bones, adrenal glands and lymph nodes in her chest but no recurrence within her actual lungs. She did have some excess fluid after her lobectomy and the DR at A and E said tonight it could just have been slowly building up over the last few months but I am worried sick that it's something more sinister. My mum has generally been doing pretty well for the past month or so and has tolerated 2 rounds of carboplatin with minimal side effects. I am so anxious that this effusion means the chemotherapy has not worked for her, starting treatment really gave us hope.. We have been trying to stay as positive as we can but it is so hard.

Thanks in advance x

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There are many things that can cause a pleural effusion. Mine was exacerbated after anesthesia for a pericardial window. I'd had problems with it for months before that and had to have my effusion drained prior to that. First time (pre surgery) they took 3 liters out of my pleura. None of it contained malignant cells.

There are many causes including some of the treatment she's had for her cancer. (Probable cause of my initial effusion. )


Thanks Denzie

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A website I trust for information on pleural effusions.



Thanks for website. Very informative.

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