Lupus Site - a guide for lupus patients and their families



Pleurisy/ Pleuritis


The thin membrane sac that covers the lung is known as the pleura.  
When it is inflamed the term pleuritis is used. 
If fluid accumulates in the pleural space, it is called a pleural effusion.
The pleural effusion can sometimes be seen on a chest x-ray. 

The main symptom of pleuritis is a severe stabbing pain when taking a deep breath, coughing or laughing.
The pain can be on either side or both sides of the rib cage or it can be felt as front or back chest pain.

Pleuritis & pleural effusions can be treated with NSAIDs, antimalarials or steroids.

Chronic pleural scarring can cause atrophy (wasting) of the diaphragm, which is known as shrinking lung syndrome, symptoms of which are decreased stamina & inability to take a deep breath.




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