A 79 year old lady is referred in by her GP with worsening cough and breathlessness
Describe and interpret this CXR
CHEST X-RAY INTERPRETATION
There is a right side pleural effusion and mediastinal shift to the right indication a right lower lobe collapse / volume loss.
There is a smaller left pleural effusion.
There is upper lobe diversion. No focal lung lesion, bones are normal
There is likely at least dual pathology here – the right sided volume loss and likely collapse would suggest a possible malignant process, which may account for the ipsilateral pleural effusion.
However, the presence of a contralateral pleural effusion could indicate pulmonary oedema / decompensated heart failure, or less likely contralateral malignant pleural disease.
This lady needs a proper examination, followed by CT chest and an echo!
As opposed to CXR case 082, this lady probably does need a pleural aspiration on the right (after CT and bedside ultrasound) – heart failure usually produces bilateral symmetrical pleural effusions – in this case there is asymmetry and probably a lung lesion.