|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative Names Return to topPleuritis; Pleuritic chest pain
Definition Return to top
Pleurisy is inflammation of the lining of the lungs that causes pain when you take a breath or cough.
Causes Return to top
Pleurisy may develop when you have lung inflammation due to infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. It may also occur with:
When you have pleurisy, the normally smooth lining of the lung (the pleura) become rough. They rub together with each breath, and may produce a rough, grating sound called a "friction rub." The health care professional can hear this sound with the stethoscope, or by placing an ear against the chest.
Symptoms Return to top
The main symptom of pleurisy is pain in the chest. Some people feel the pain in the shoulder.
Deep breathing, coughing, and chest movement makes the pain worse.
Pleurisy can cause fluid to collect inside the chest cavity. This can make breathing difficult and may cause the following symptoms:
Exams and Tests Return to top
The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the lungs for abnormal sounds.
The health care provider may perform the following tests:
Treatment Return to top
The health care provider can remove fluid in the lungs by thoracentesis and check it for signs of infection.
Treatment depends on what is causing the pleurisy. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Some bacterial infections require a surgical procedure to drain all the infected fluid.
Viral infections normally run their course without medications. Patients often can control the pain of pleurisy with acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Recovery depends on what is causing the pleurisy.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of pleurisy. If you have breathing difficulty or your skin turns blue, seek immediate medical care.
Prevention Return to top
Early treatment of bacterial respiratory infections can prevent pleurisy.
References Return to top
Marx J, et al. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2002:1005.
Murray J, Nadel J. Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2000:497-498.Update Date: 11/12/2007 Updated by: Andrew Schriber, M.D., F.C.C.P., Specialist in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly, New Jersey. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.