- Pus in a body cavity; when used without qualification, refers specifically to pyothorax. [G. e., suppuration, fr. en, in, + pyon, pus]- e. benignum SYN: latent e..- latent e. the presence of pus in a cavity, especially one of the accessory sinuses, unattended by subjective symptoms. SYN: e. benignum.- e. necessitatis e. necessitans, a form of pyothorax in which the pus burrows to the outside, producing a subcutaneous abscess that finally ruptures through the skin; it may result in spontaneous recovery without requiring an operation.- pneumococcal e. infection of the pleural cavity by Streptococcus pneumoniae, the pneumococcus, with pus formation.- pulsating e. a large, tense collection of pus in the pleural cavity through which the cardiac pulsations are transmitted to the chest wall.- streptococcal e. purulent exudation into the pleural cavity caused by infection with Streptococcus hemolyticus.
* * *em·py·ema .em-.pī-'ē-mə n, pl -ema·ta -mət-ə also -emas the presence of pus in a bodily cavity (as the pleural cavity) called also pyothoraxem·py·emic -mik adj
* * *n.pus in the pleural cavity, usually secondary to infection in the lung or in the space below the diaphragm. Empyema is a life-threatening condition, which can be relieved by aspiration or drainage of the pus or by decapsulation (see decortication).
* * *em·py·e·ma (em″pi-eґmə) [Gr. empyema] 1. abscess. 2. a pleural effusion (q.v.) containing pus; called also thoracic e., purulent or suppurative pleurisy, and pyothorax.
Medical dictionary. 2011.