August 31, 2015

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Pleurisy (Pleuritis)

Pleurisy facts

  • Pleurisy involves inflammation of the tissue layers (pleura) lining the lungs and inner chest wall.
  • Pleurisy is often associated with the accumulation of fluid between the two layers of pleura, known as pleural effusion.
  • Pleurisy is caused by a variety of conditions, such as infections, tuberculosis (TB), congestive heart failure, cancer, pulmonary embolism, and collagen vascular diseases.
  • Symptoms of pleurisy include pain in the chest, which is aggravated by breathing in, shortness of breath, and local tenderness. This pain can effect the chest cavity in either the front or back of the cavity, and sometimes patient's have back or shoulder pain.
  • The diagnosis of pleurisy is made by the characteristic chest pain and physical findings on examination of the chest. The sometimes-associated pleural accumulation of fluid (pleural effusion) can be seen by imaging studies (chest X-ray, ultrasound, or CT).
  • Analysis of pleural fluid aspirated from the chest can help determine the cause of the pleurisy.
  • Treatment of the underlying conditions is key to the proper management of pleurisy. Continue Reading
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Reviewed on 8/3/2015