Non-traumatic thoracic emergencies: imaging and treatment of thoracic fluid collections (including pneumothorax)

Eur Radiol. 2002 Aug;12(8):1922-30. doi: 10.1007/s00330-002-1512-1. Epub 2002 Jun 14.


Cross-sectional imaging has revolutionised the radiological diagnosis of pleural collections. Not only can the precise location and volume of a pleural effusion be established, but also features specific for the aetiology of the effusion can be demonstrated. Increasingly, radiologists are called upon to perform image-guided biopsies, aspirations and small bore chest drain placement, all of which have been shown to be safe and efficacious. Pneumothoraces occurring due to acute trauma and in an intensive care setting can also benefit from radiological input, both in terms of diagnosis and image-guided treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pleural Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Pleural Diseases / pathology*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Ultrasonography