Pleurisy (Pleuritis)

Pleurisy (Pleuritis)

Pleurisy Treatment: A Little Complicated

External splinting of the chest wall and pain medication can reduce the pain of pleurisy. Treatment of the underlying disease, of course, ultimately relieves the pleurisy.

If the pleural fluid shows signs of infection, appropriate treatment involves antibiotics and drainage of the fluid. If there is pus inside the pleural space, a chest drainage tube should be inserted.

What is pleurisy?

Pleurisy describes the chest pain syndrome characterized by a sharp chest pain that worsens with breathing.

Pleurisy is caused by inflammation of the linings around the lungs (the pleura), a condition also known as pleuritis. There are two layers of pleura: one covering the lung (termed the visceral pleura) and the other covering the inner wall of the chest (the parietal pleura). These two layers are lubricated by pleural fluid.

Pleurisy is frequently associated with the accumulation of extra fluid in the space between the two layers of pleura. This fluid is referred to as a pleural effusion.

The pain fibers of the lung are located in the pleura. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it results in a sharp pain in the chest that is worse with breathing. Other symptoms of pleurisy can include cough, chest tenderness, and shortness of breath. Continue Reading

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Reviewed on 2/6/2015

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