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Interpreting pleural fluid results correctly requires an awareness of the possible aetiologies of a pleural effusion and an understanding of the reliability of the outcome of each investigation. All results must be interpreted within each different clinical context and knowledge of the pitfalls for each test is necessary when the diagnosis is unclear. This review aims to discuss the common aetiologies of a pleural effusion and some of the pitfalls in interpretation that can occur when the diagnosis is unclear.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical medicine (London, England)

Publication Date





213 - 217


University of Oxford, Oxford, UK and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK