Pleurisy (Pleuritis)

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Medical Author:

Related
Symptoms & Signs

Pleurisy is inflammation of the linings around the lungs (the pleura). There are two layers of pleura; one covering the lung and the other covering the inner wall of the chest. These two layers are lubricated by pleural fluid. Pleurisy is characterized by pain in the chest with breathing. Pleurisy can also cause pain, cough, chest tenderness, and shortness of breath.

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. Pleurisy is also referred to as pleuritis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2012

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Pleurisy
    • Asbestos Asbestos exposure lung disease is divided into three main types, asbestosis (lung scarring caused by asbestos fibers), disease of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Asbestos Article
      • Asbestos related disorders facts
      • What is the definition of asbestos?
      • What are the types of asbestos-related lung disease?
      • What are the types of asbestos fibers?
      • What does fiber size have to do with asbestos-related lung disease?
      • What is asbestosis?
      • What are symptoms and signs of asbestosis?
      • What tests and studies are used to evaluate asbestosis?
      • How is asbestosis treated?
      • What is pleural disease?
      • Does asbestos exposure cause lung cancer?
      • What is malignant mesothelioma?
      • What other cancers have been linked to asbestos exposure?
      • How can exposure to asbestos be reduced?
      • What kind of asbestos is used today?
    • Breast Cancer Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast...learn more »
      In This Article
      Breast Cancer Article
      • Breast cancer facts
      • What is breast cancer?
      • What are the risk factors for breast cancer?
      • What causes breast cancer?
      • What are the different types of breast cancer?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
      • How is breast cancer diagnosed?
      • Screening
      • Definitive diagnosis
      • Specialized testing
      • What are the stages of breast cancer?
      • What is the treatment for breast cancer?
      • Surgery
      • Radiation
      • Hormone therapy
      • Chemotherapy
      • Targeted therapy
      • Breast cancer treatment by stage
      • What are the survival rates and prognosis for breast cancer?
      • What research is being performed on breast cancer?
      • Can breast cancer be prevented?
    • Chest Pain Chest pain is a common complaint by a patient in the ER. Causes of chest pain include broken or bruised ribs, pleurisy,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Chest Pain Article
      • Chest pain facts
      • Chest pain introduction
      • What are the sources of chest pain?
      • What are the causes of chest pain?
      • How is chest pain diagnosed?
      • What is the philosophy of the approach to chest pain diagnosis?
      • What is the diagnosis and treatment for chest pain?
      • Broken or bruised ribs
      • Costochondritis
      • Pleuritis or pleurisy
      • Pneumothorax
      • Shingles
      • Pneumonia
      • Pulmonary embolism
      • Angina and heart attack (myocardial infarction)
      • Pericarditis
      • Aorta and aortic dissection
      • Esophagus and reflux esophagitis
      • Referred abdominal pain
    • Cirrhosis (Liver) Cirrhosis of the liver refers to a disease in which normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue caused by alcohol and viral...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cirrhosis (Liver) Article
      • Cirrhosis facts
      • What is cirrhosis?
      • Why does cirrhosis cause problems?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis?
      • What are the complications of cirrhosis?
      • What are the common causes of cirrhosis?
      • How is cirrhosis diagnosed and evaluated?
      • How is cirrhosis treated?
      • What is new and in the future for cirrhosis?
    • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Article
      • What is congestive heart failure (CHF)?
      • What causes congestive heart failure?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure?
      • What are the risk factors for congestive heart failure?
      • How is congestive heart failure diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for congestive heart failure?
      • What is the prognosis for congestive heart failure?
      • Can congestive heart failure be prevented?
    • Connective Tissue Disease Connective tissue disease is when the body's connective tissues come under attack, possibly becoming injured by inflammation....learn more »
      In This Article
      Connective Tissue Disease Article
      • What is a connective tissue disease?
      • What causes connective tissue disease?
      • What are symptoms and signs of a connective tissue disease?
      • How are connective tissue diseases diagnosed?
      • What are genetic risk factors for developing connective tissue disease?
      • What autoimmune diseases are associated with connective tissue disease?
    • Lung Cancer Lung cancer kills more men and women than any other form of cancer. Eight out of 10 lung cancers are due to tobacco smoke. Lung...learn more »
    • Lupus Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....learn more »
      In This Article
      Lupus Article
      • Systemic lupus erythematosus facts
      • What is systemic lupus erythematosus? What are the types of lupus?
      • What causes systemic lupus erythematosus? Is lupus hereditary?
      • What is drug-induced lupus?
      • What are lupus symptoms and signs?
      • How is systemic lupus erythematosus diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for systemic lupus?
      • How can a lupus patient help prevent disease activity (flares)?
      • How can systemic lupus erythematosus affect pregnancy or the newborn?
      • What is the prognosis of lupus? What does the future hold for people with systemic lupus?
      • Where can one get more information about systemic lupus erythematosus?
    • Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that forms in the chest lining (pleural mesothelioma), abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Mesothelioma Article
      • Mesothelioma facts
      • What is mesothelioma?
      • What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
      • What causes mesothelioma?
      • How much asbestos exposure does it take to get mesothelioma?
      • How long does it take after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to show up?
      • How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
      • What is the prognosis for mesothelioma?
      • What is the treatment for mesothelioma?
      • Is there any promising research or are there promising drugs for mesothelioma?
      • What other kinds of information is available for people with mesothelioma?
    • Pancreatitis Pancreatitis is a rare disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed, occurring when digestive enzymes are activated and begin...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pancreatitis Article
      • Pancreatitis facts*
      • What is pancreatitis?
      • What are the causes of acute pancreatitis?
      • What are the symptoms of acute pancreatitis?
      • How is acute pancreatitis diagnosed?
      • How is acute pancreatitis treated?
      • What is chronic pancreatitis?
      • What are the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis?
      • How is chronic pancreatitis diagnosed?
      • How is chronic pancreatitis treated?
      • How common is pancreatitis in children?
      • Hope through research
      • For more information about pancreatitis
    • Pulmonary Embolism (Blood Clot in the Lung) A pulmonary embolism occurs when a piece of a blood clot from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) breaks off and travels to an artery in...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pulmonary Embolism (Blood Clot in the Lung) Article
      • Pulmonary embolism facts
      • What is a pulmonary embolism?
      • What are the causes and risk factors for pulmonary embolism?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism?
      • How is pulmonary embolism diagnosed?
      • Basic testing (CBC, electrolytes, BUN, creatinine blood test, chest X-ray, EKG)
      • Pulmonary angiogram
      • d-Dimer blood test
      • CT Scan
      • Ventilation-perfusion scans
      • Venous Doppler study
      • Echocardiography (EKG, ECG)
      • What is the treatment for pulmonary embolism?
      • Anticoagulation
      • Thrombolytic therapy
      • What is the prognosis for pulmonary embolism?
      • Can pulmonary embolism be prevented?
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rheumatoid Arthritis Article
      • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) facts
      • What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
      • What are causes and risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • What are complications of rheumatoid disease?
      • How do physicians diagnose rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
      • "First-line" rheumatoid arthritis medications
      • "Second-line" or "slow-acting" rheumatoid arthritis drugs
      • What are newer treatments for rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Rheumatoid arthritis diet and other treatments
      • What about rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Is it possible to prevent rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What research is being done on rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Where can people get additional information on rheumatoid arthritis?
Other Causes of Pleurisy
  • Certain Drugs: Drugs That Can Cause Lupus (Such As Hydralazine, Procan, Dilantin, and Others)
  • Infections: Bacterial, Mycobacteria, Fungus, Parasites, or Viruses
  • Inhaled Particles: Exposure to Asbestos
  • Lung Infarction: Lung Tissue Death Due to Lack of Oxygen From Poor Blood Supply
  • Obstruction of Lymph Channels: Because of Centrally Located Lung Tumors
  • Trauma: Rib Fractures or Injury From Instruments in the Chest From an Operation, Car Accidents
  • Tumors of the Pleura: Sarcoma
Examples of Medications for Pleurisy