A 76 year old man presents with worsening breathlessness over 3-4 weeks.
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Describe and interpret this CXR and CT chest
CXR and CT chest INTERPRETATION
There is a small right pleural effusion.
There is loss of the left hemidiaphragm and left heart border with diffuse increased opacification in the left lower zone.
CT chest demonstrates a moderate pericardial effusion with associated peripheral atelectasis.
At first glance the appreances on the plain PA CXR could be mis-interpretted as a pleural effusion.
*This gentleman is breathless due to a pericardial effusion and worsening heart failure.*
This case highlights the near-mandatory need for further confirmatory imaging prior to attempting aspiration of a (non-existent) pleural effusion.