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An empyema is a collection or gathering of pus within a naturally existing anatomical cavity. For example, pleural empyema is empyema of the pleural cavity. It must be differentiated from an abscess, which is a collection of pus in a newly formed cavity. The term is from Greek ἐμπύημα, "abscess".
Empyema occurs in:
- the pleural cavity (pleural empyema also known as pyothorax)
- the thoracic cavity
- the uterus (pyometra)
- the appendix (appendicitis)
- the meninges (subdural empyema)
- the joints (septic arthritis)
- the gallbladder
- Shen, K. Robert; Bribriesco, Alejandro; Crabtree, Traves; Denlinger, Chad; Eby, Joshua; Eiken, Patrick; Jones, David R.; Keshavjee, Shaf; Maldonado, Fabien; Paul, Subroto; Kozower, Benjamin (February 2017). "The American Association for Thoracic Surgery consensus guidelines for the management of empyema". The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2017.01.030.