ICU Chest Films > Fluid in the Chest > Pleural Effusions > Erect Patient

Pleural Effusions in the Erect Patient

In the erect patient fluid collects at the base of the chest. Costophrenic angle blunting and decreased visibility of the lower lobe vessels are commonly the result of pleural fluid pooling.

How much fuid must collect before costophrenic blunting is visible in the erect patient?
10-20 ml
50-75 ml
100-200 ml
> 500 ml

This PA chest film of an erect patient shows a large pleural effusion on the right. Even an effusion this size may be difficult to detect in a supine film.

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