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What do the doctors look for in the pleural fluid analysis?

Sometimes to determine the underlying cause of a pleural effusion, the doctor has to remove some of the fluid for examination. Under a microscope, the doctor looks for indicators of conditions such as infections and cancer. They also look at the quality of the fluid, such as how clear it is, its color, and if there is evidence of blood. The fluid may also be processed for certain substances, like proteins, that may help to diagnose the conditions that are most concerning.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.