What to do with pleurisy

Inflammation of the pleura or pleura is called pleurisy. More about causes, symptoms and therapy

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The pleura and the pleura are collectively referred to as the pleura or pleura. The pleural space lies in between

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Pleurisy - in a nutshell

The pleura and the pleura are also referred to together as the pleura or pleura. When they become infected, they usually do so in connection with other conditions such as pneumonia, rheumatic disease, or autoimmune disease. Signs of pleurisy can include:

  • Breath-dependent chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • to cough

If you suspect pleurisy, please see a doctor. He can confirm the suspicion and initiate further examinations to get to the bottom of the cause of the pleurisy and then enable appropriate treatment.

Pleurisy, pleurisy, pulmonary inflammation, pleurisy: four terms that ultimately designate the same clinical picture.

Where is the pleura, pleura, or lungs?

The surface of the lungs and the inside of the chest are covered by a thin skin called the pleura or pleura. The part that covers the surface of the lungs is also called the pulmonary membrane. The part that lines the chest wall is also called the pleura. Both skins are tightly connected to each other by a fold. The fine space between the two membranes is the pleural space.

The pleura follows the breathing movements of the chest; Due to the negative pressure generated in the pleural space, the pleura is practically pulled along and follows the movements of the pleura.

The terms pleurisy or pleurisy are common, but actually both pleural membranes are usually affected when pleurisy or pleurisy is present.

What types of pleurisy are there?

There is a so-called dry pleurisy, Pleurisy sicca, which can be very painful to breathe in and out, and a wet pleurisy Exudative pleurisyin which the pleural space fills with a more or less large effusion.

What are the causes of pleurisy?

Pleurisy is usually a concomitant or secondary disease of another disease. This means that there is actually another disease, but the pleura or pleura reacts with it and becomes inflamed. This can be the case, for example:

  • pneumonia,
  • Tuberculosis,
  • a pulmonary embolism,
  • Tumor diseases of the lungs,
  • pathological processes in the abdomen,
  • rheumatic diseases,
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • after an operation (postoperative pleurisy) or
  • after an injury (post-traumatic pleurisy).

The disease rarely develops independently from viruses or bacteria. Sometimes pleurisy is also caused by a pleural tumor.

A painful one Pleurisy sicca can turn into a less or not painful one Exudative pleurisyif a pleural effusion forms. The pleural effusion can be high or low in protein, bloody or purulent, depending on the cause. The most common causes of a pleural effusion are:

  • Left heart failure
  • malignant tumors
  • lung infection
  • Pulmonary embolism

Our expert: Professor Wolfram Delius, specialist in internal medicine and cardiology

© W & B / Bernhard Huber

Which symptoms are typical?

The symptoms depend on the cause and severity of the disease. Leading symptom in a Pleurisy sicca is the breath-dependent chest pain. This is strongest when you inhale, while you feel little or no pain when you exhale. By rubbing the inflamed pleural leaves against each other, the typical rubbing noise (leather creaking) occurs when listening with a stethoscope. Breathing in pleural effusion is often superficial and rapid.

Shortness of breath, fever and cough are other typical symptoms of the disease. The pain and the characteristic eavesdropping findings decrease with the formation of an effusion. If you suspect pleurisy, it is essential to see a doctor.

How does the doctor recognize pleurisy?

The pleurisy, especially the Pleurisy sicca, the doctor can diagnose on the basis of the typical symptoms and the findings when listening. A pleural effusion is detected by an x-ray of the lungs and an ultrasound scan. In order to clarify the cause, further examinations such as an examination of the blood, a computed tomography (CT) of the chest or the acquisition of examination material by puncturing a pleural effusion are necessary.

Therapy: what to do with pleurisy

Therapy consists in combating pain with medication and - as far as possible - treating the disease causing it. In bacterial pleurisy, for example, antibiotics help; if there is a pleural effusion, it may have to be punctured and drained.

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor. Unfortunately, our experts cannot answer individual questions.