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(plo͝or`ĭsē), inflammation of the pleura (the membrane that covers the lungs and lines the chest cavity). It is sometimes accompanied by pain and coughing. The inflammation may be dry or it may be accompanied by an effusion, or fluid, that fills the chest cavity; when the effusion is infected, the condition is known as empyema. The dry type of pleurisy usually occurs in association with bacterial infections such as pneumonia. Pleurisy with effusion is often associated with such chronic lung conditions as tuberculosis or tumors. Immune disorders such as lupus and rheumatic fever tend to have recurrent pleurisy, with or without effusion. Epidemic pleurodynia, a pleurisy attributed to a virus, is a mild disease of short duration. Treatment of pleurisy is directed at the underlying condition as well as the symptoms.



inflammation of the pleura.

Pleurisy may be infectious or noninfectious. The causative agents in man and animals include the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, cocci, and viruses. In man the most common types are tubercular pleurisy, with primary localization of the infection in the lung or in the lymph nodes, and pleurisy as a complication of inflammation of the lungs. Forms of noninfectious pleurisy are toxic pleurisy, which arises when the pleura is irritated by toxic metabolic products, such as the nitrogenous residues that occur with uremia; traumatic pleurisy; and pleurisy occurring with tumors of the lungs or of the pleura itself. Another form of the disease is primary, or idiopathic, pleurisy, whose etiology has not been established.

Fibrinous pleurisy, with deposit of a dry exudate, fibrin, on the pleurae, occurs with tuberculosis and pneumonia. Exudative pleurisy, in which the fissure between the pleurae is filled with an exudate, may be serous or serofibrinous (tubercular, idiopathic, or rheumatic), hemorrhagic (tubercular or with tumors), or purulent and putrefactive (as with lung abscesses). Pleurisy may be acute or chronic and localized or diffuse.

The symptoms of pleurisy are malaise, fever, chills, perspiration, cough, dyspnea, and changes in the blood’s composition. With dry pleurisy there is pain in the thorax and the sound of pleural friction with auscultation. With exudative pleurisy, a dulling of pulmonary sound is revealed by percussion; diverticulum of the thorax in the region of the exudate may occur, and respiration is severely attenuated. The data of X-ray diagnosis are important. Adhesions may remain after pleurisy. The disease is treated by antibiotics and by antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, and symptomatic agents. The exudate is removed by means of pleurocentesis.


Abrikosov, A. I. Chastnaiapatologicheskaia anatomiia, fasc. 3. Moscow, 1947.
Rabukhin, A. E. Tuberkuleznye plevrity. Moscow, 1948.
Bolezni sistemy dykhaniia. Edited by T. Garbin’skii. Warsaw, 1967.



Inflammation of the pleura. Also known as pleuritis.


inflammation of the pleura, characterized by pain that is aggravated by deep breathing or coughing
References in periodicals archive ?
Tuberculous pleurisy was diagnosed if Ziehl--Neelsen stains or Ldwenstein-Jensen cultures of pleural fluid, sputum or pleural biopsy tissue samples were positive, a pleural biopsy showed granuloma in the pleura, or an exudative lymphocytic effusion which had elevated levels (>40 U/L) of adenosine deaminase cleared in response to antituberculous therapy.
The etiology of pleural effusions in the whole study population FLUID CHARACTERISTICS Female Male Total TRANSUDATES Congestive hearth failure (CHF) 37 54 91 Hepatic hydrothorax 8 16 24 Nephrotic syndrome 6 14 20 Chronic renal failure (CRF) 6 6 12 Hypoalbuminemia 2 2 4 Total (n) 59 92 151 EXUDATES Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) 33 42 75 Tuberculous pleurisy 32 55 87 Parapneumonic pleurisy 17 40 57 Non-small cell lung cancer (ca) metastasis 16 31 47 Small cell lung ca metastasis 2 4 6 Malignant pleurisy 3 6 9 Benign asbestos pleurisy 1 3 4 Pancreas ca metastasis 3 3 Colon ca metastasis 1 2 3 Lymphoma metastasis 3 4 7 Dressler's syndrome 2 2 Total (n) 108 192 300 Table 2.