This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Pleural empyema

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

A pleural empyema is the presence of pus in the pleural cavity.

Antibiotics have made the condition uncommon.

A pleural empyema is, in effect, an abscess:

  • there is usually a high swinging fever and a leukocytosis
  • the most effective treatment is surgical drainage

There is a spectrum of abnormality from pure exudative parapneumonic effusions to frank pus. It is important to treat any effusion with large numbers of inflammatory cells and/or organisms as an empyema.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page