Pleurisy - Pleurisy - Pleurisy

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Pleurisy - Pleurisy - Pleurisy
Pleurisy - Pleurisy - Pleurisy

Video: Pleurisy - Pleurisy - Pleurisy

Video: Pleurisy - Pleurisy - Pleurisy
Video: Pleural Effusions - Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment 2023, September

Inflammation of the breasts (pleurisy)

With pleurisy, the pleura is inflamed. This happens for a variety of reasons. Infections are often the cause.

The pleura is a thin layer of tissue that rests against the lungs and the inside of the ribs. These are also called the pleura and pleura. There is a very small gap between the layers, called the pleural space, which usually contains very little fluid.

Inflammation can lead to a pathological accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (exudative pleurisy). One also speaks of pleural effusion. Air can also collect (so-called pneumothorax). If no pleural effusion accumulates in pleurisy, this is called pleurisy sicca (dry form of pleurisy).


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  • What are the causes of pleurisy?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • How is the treatment carried out?
  • Whom can I ask?

What are the causes of pleurisy?

Pleuritis can occur in various diseases or infections, as a symptom (primary pleurisy, this occurs rarely) or as a concomitant disease, which means a disease that is in addition to the underlying disease (secondary pleurisy). Pleurisy can occur with:

  • Viral infections, bacterial infections (e.g. pneumonia, tuberculosis), infections with fungi or parasites,
  • Pulmonary embolism,
  • Systemic / autoimmune diseases (e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis),
  • Cancer (e.g. lung cancer),
  • Breast and heart operations (e.g. after coronary artery bypass),
  • Diseases of the upper abdomen (e.g. pancreatitis),
  • chronic inflammatory bowel disease and much more

Inflammation of the pleura can be accompanied by an effusion, the pleural effusion. Fluid accumulates due to pathological processes (exudative pleurisy).

What are the symptoms?

Depending on the severity and cause, the symptoms can vary.

  • Chest pain (worse when breathing),
  • Fever,
  • Dyspnea (difficult breathing),
  • Cough as well
  • Pleural rubbing (rubbing sound when listening).

Note Pain in the chest, back or upper abdominal area can have various causes. If symptoms such as sudden, one-sided pain in the chest area, severe or worsening pain as well as additional pain that is radiating, a feeling of constriction in the chest, shortness of breath or loss of consciousness etc., inform the doctor immediately (emergency number 144).

How is the diagnosis made?

In the course of the diagnosis, the medical history is discussed (anamnesis). The symptoms are clarified with the help of various physical examinations (e.g. tapping and listening) and various tests. Among other things, it is essential to recognize the underlying disease, if this is not already known. Depending on the individual requirements, the following can be carried out and initiated:

  • X-ray of the chest area,
  • CT of the chest area,
  • Ultrasound (e.g. heart),
  • MRI,
  • Laboratory examinations (blood examinations e.g. arterial / capillary blood gas values, determination of antibodies, examination of the sputum), depending on the suspected pathogen, possibly puncture or biopsy and further examination in the laboratory,
  • Tuberculin test,
  • Pulse oximetry,
  • EKG, etc.

How is the treatment carried out?

Treatment measures include treating the underlying disease, inflammation and symptoms (pain relievers). Depending on the cause, antibiotics or antifungal agents are used. For more information on treating the underlying disease, see Diseases.

Ev. it is also necessary to draw air or fluid from the pleural space. Interventions can be carried out for this, e.g. puncture, drainage or pleurodesis (pleural bonding). For more information, see

  • Pneumothorax,
  • Pleural effusion as well
  • Pleural puncture.

Whom can I ask?

If you have chest complaints, you can contact the following doctors:

  • Family doctor
  • Specialist in internal medicine (specializing in pulmonology or cardiology)

Note Symptoms such as chest pain are often difficult to identify for laypeople. In the event of severe pain, shortness of breath, etc., act immediately and notify the rescue team.

Acute treatments and pleural functions (in most cases), drainage and pleurodesis are carried out in the hospital.