Facebook Pixel

Pleurisy Definition & Overview

Definition

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the double-layered membrane that surrounds each lung and the rib cage. The double-layered pleura protects and lubricates the surface of the lungs as they inflate and deflate within the rib cage. Healthy pleura have a thin, fluid-filled space between the two layers that lets them glide gently across each other. When they become inflamed, the diseased surfaces rub painfully together. This causes a characteristic sound called “friction rub.”

Pleurisy cases are defined as having pleural effusion or as being dry. Pleural effusion, an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space, is more common, and is essentially a side effect of numerous diseases or trauma. Dry pleurisy refers to cases where there is no fluid build-up. Pleural effusion is less painful due to the fluid forcing some separation of the membranes. However, the fluid puts pressure on the lungs which can lead to respiratory distress and even lung collapse.

Pleurisy is a potentially serious condition that can have long-term effects. The sooner you seek medical care, the more favorable the outcome. Contact your doctor if you think you may have pleurisy.

Pleura of the Lungs

si55551434_96472_1
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

The Latest in Pleurisy Definition & Overview

ASK Your Health Question

It's FREE and you'll get a response within 24 hours

ASK

POST Info, Tips & Stories

Inspire others to learn from your experiences. Tell your story!

POST
Get Email Updates

Pleurisy Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!