Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleura, which is the covering of the lung. Pleura have two layers- one which covers the outer aspect of the lung, and the other covering the inner surface of the rib cage. There is a potential space between these two layers. Normally these two layers of membrane move smoothly against each other. Allowing the lung to inflate and deflate smoothly. In pleurisy, there may be inflammation of these membranes causing friction and pain when breathing.
Listening to the chest may yield a friction rub. Blood tests may show signs of infections.
Chest x-ray may show area of inflammation or pneumonia. CT scans may show underlying pathology. Pleural biopsy and thoracoscopy may lead to diagnosis of the cause.
Goal of treatment is to treat the underlying cause. Bacterial pneumonia is treatment with antibiotics. Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat pain. Controlling the cough may also relieve pain. Fluid, if present, may have to be drained.
|Posted By : Dr. Sunitha, NJ, USA
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