BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuEmpyemaEmpyema - pleural; Pyothorax; Pleurisy - purulentEmpyema is a collection of pus in the space between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall (pleural space).Previous imagePlay SlideshowStop SlideshowNext image / Causes Empyema is usually caused by an infection that spreads directly from the lung. It leads to a buildup of pus in the pleural space.There can be 2 cups (1/2 liter) or more of infected fluid. This fluid puts pressure on the lungs.Risk factors include:Bacterial pneumonia Bacterial pneumoniaPneumonia is a breathing (respiratory) condition in which there is an infection of the lung. This article covers community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tuberculosis TuberculosisPulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs. It may spread to other organs.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Chest surgery Lung abscess Lung abscessAn abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body. In most cases, the area around an abscess is swollen and inflamed.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Trauma or injury to the chest In rare cases, empyema can occur after thoracentesis. This is a procedure in which a needle is inserted through the chest wall to remove fluid in the pleural space for medical diagnosis or treatment.ThoracentesisThoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest....Read Article Now Book Mark Article Symptoms Symptoms of empyema may include any of the following:Chest pain, which worsens when you breathe in deeply (pleurisy) Chest painChest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Dry cough CoughCoughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. But too much coughing may mean you have a disease or disorder. Some coughs are d...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Excessive sweating, especially night sweats Excessive sweatingSweating is the release of liquid from the body's sweat glands. This liquid contains salt. This process is also called perspiration. Sweating helps...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Fever and chills FeverFever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness. A child has a fever when the temperature is at or abov...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise) MalaiseMalaise is a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Shortness of breath Shortness of breathBreathing difficulty may involve:Difficult breathing Uncomfortable breathingFeeling like you are not getting enough airImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Weight loss (unintentional) Weight lossUnexplained weight loss is a decrease in body weight, when you did not try to lose the weight on your own. Many people gain and lose weight. Uninten...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests The health care provider may note decreased breath sounds or an abnormal sound (friction rub) when listening to the chest with a stethoscope (auscultation).AuscultationAuscultation is listening to the sounds of the body during a physical examination.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tests that may be ordered include:Chest x-ray Chest x-rayA chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article CT scan of chest CT scanA computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:Abdomin...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Thoracentesis ThoracentesisThoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest....Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pleural fluid analysis Pleural fluid analysisPleural fluid analysis is a test that examines a sample of fluid that has collected in the pleural space. This is the space between the lining of th...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment The goal of treatment is to cure the infection. This involves the following:Placing a tube in your chest to drain the pus Giving you antibiotics to control the infectionIf you have problems breathing, you may need surgery to help your lung expand properly. Outlook (Prognosis) When empyema complicates pneumonia, the risk for permanent lung damage and death goes up. Long-term treatment with antibiotics and drainage are needed. In general, most people fully recover from empyema. Possible Complications Having empyema may lead to the following:Pleural thickening Reduced lung function When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if you develop symptoms of empyema. Prevention Prompt and effective treatment of lung infections may prevent some cases of empyema.Open ReferencesReferencesBroaddus VC, Light RW. Pleural effusion. In: Broaddus VC, Ernst JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 108.McCool FD. Diseases of the diaphragm, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 92.AllVideoImagesTogLungs - illustration The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.LungsillustrationChest tube insertion - series - Pleural cavityPresentation Lungs - illustration The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.Lungsillustration Chest tube insertion - series - Pleural cavityPresentation Related Information Breathing difficulty(Symptoms)Community-acquired pneumonia in adults(Condition)Aspiration pneumonia(Condition)Thoracentesis(Medical Test)Pneumonia(In-Depth) Review Date: 9/1/2021 Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.