Back to Chest Diseases
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura which is the membrane
lining the lungs.
Pleurisy can be caused in relation to other diseases of the chest
e.g. pneumonia, malignancy (lung cancer, mesothelioma). It can also
be caused alone. In this case pleurisy is caused by viral infection,
bacterial infection or TB. Other causes include systemic lupus
erythematosis, rheumatoid arthritis, liver and kidney disease, heart
failure and pulmonary embolism.
Chest pain on the same side of the affected pleura. Pain is
characteristically related to breathing. Patients complain that they
are unable to take a deep breath without feeling pain. Pleurisy
maybe associated with pleural
Diagnosis depends on the characteristic clinical manifestations.
Examination may reveal pleural friction rub -- the abrasive sound of
the pleura's two layers sliding against each other -- in this case
the diagnosis is clear. Chest X-ray or CT of the chest can be used
to exclude associated disease.
Treatment of the cause if one is found. After excluding the
presence of concomitant diseases treatment can be accomplished with
an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen. Cases accompanied by
fever may require antibiotics.
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