This test is usually performed if a chest X-ray shows that you have fluid in the space between the pleurae, a condition called pleural effusion. It’s also done if you show symptoms of certain infections, such as pneumonia, or to see if there’s air in the pleural space (e.g., a pneumothorax).
There are a number of reasons why you might have a buildup of fluid in your pleural space, also called the pleural cavity. This test is performed to see if an infection is the cause of the buildup.
There are some risks associated with having a pleural fluid culture, including:
excessive bleeding while the sample is being taken reaccumulation of the fluid in the lung infection at the puncture site where the sample is taken pneumothorax, or air in the chest respiratory distress, or breathing difficulties