Inflammation of the pleura. It is usually caused by infections. Chest pain while breathing or coughing is the presenting symptom.

Symptoms of Pleurisy

The following features are indicative of Pleurisy:
  • chest pain that worsens during breathe, cough or sneeze
  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • fever
It is possible that Pleurisy shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Pleurisy

The following are the most common causes of Pleurisy:
  • inflammation of the pericardium
  • congestive heart failure
  • pneumonia
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • cancer of the pericardium or heart

Other Causes of Pleurisy

The following are the less common causes of Pleurisy:
  • radiation therapy for cancer
  • had chemotherapy such as doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide treatment for cancer
  • underactive thyroid
  • trauma or puncture wound near the heart

Risk Factors for Pleurisy

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Pleurisy:
  • asbestos exposure

Prevention of Pleurisy

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Pleurisy.

Occurrence of Pleurisy

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Pleurisy cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Pleurisy can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Pleurisy can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Pleurisy

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Pleurisy:
  • Blood test: To check the presence of infection
  • Chest X-ray: To show if lungs are fully inflating or if there is air or fluid between the lungs and ribs
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: To show if there is a blood clot in the lung or find other causes of pleuritic pain
  • Ultrasound: To determine whether have a pleural effusion
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): To rule out certain heart problems as a cause for chest pain

Doctor for Diagnosis of Pleurisy

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Pleurisy:
  • Pulmonologist

Complications of Pleurisy if untreated

Yes, Pleurisy causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Pleurisy is left untreated:
  • breathing difficulty
  • fluid buildup between chest wall and lung
  • complications from the original illness

Procedures for Treatment of Pleurisy

The following procedures are used to treat Pleurisy:
  • Thoracentesis: To withdraw fluid out of chest around 6 cups of fluid at a time
  • Pleurodesis: Sealing the pleural space

Self-care for Pleurisy

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Pleurisy:
  • lying on your painful side
  • breathing deeply
  • coughing to clear mucus
  • getting plenty of rest

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Pleurisy

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Pleurisy:
  • Brazilian folk remedy: Wilbrandia ebracteata extract reduce inflammation in the pleural cavity

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Pleurisy.

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