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Your pleura is a large, thin sheet of tissue that wraps around the outside of your lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity. Between the layers of the pleura is a very thin space. Normally it's filled with a small amount of fluid. The fluid helps the two layers of the pleura glide smoothly past each other as your lungs breathe air in and out.

Disorders of the pleura include

  • Pleurisy - inflammation of the pleura that causes sharp pain with breathing
  • Pleural effusion - excess fluid in the pleural space
  • Pneumothorax - buildup of air or gas in the pleural space
  • Hemothorax - buildup of blood in the pleural space

Many different conditions can cause pleural problems. Viral infection is the most common cause of pleurisy. The most common cause of pleural effusion is congestive heart failure. Lung diseases, like COPD, tuberculosis, and acute lung injury, cause pneumothorax. Injury to the chest is the most common cause of hemothorax. Treatment focuses on removing fluid, air, or blood from the pleural space, relieving symptoms, and treating the underlying condition.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of Pleural Disorders

The following features are indicative of Pleural Disorders:
  • sharp or stabbing chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • fever
  • chills
  • unexplained weight loss
  • tiredness
  • rapid heart rate
  • bluish tint to the skin
  • anxiety
It is possible that Pleural Disorders shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Pleural Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Pleural Disorders:
  • viral infections
  • cancer
  • chest injuries
  • pancreatitis
  • coronary artery bypass grafting

Other Causes of Pleural Disorders

The following are the less common causes of Pleural Disorders:
  • smoking
  • family history
  • heart failure
  • lung infections

Risk Factors for Pleural Disorders

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Pleural Disorders:
  • smoking
  • viral infections
  • chest injuries
  • cancer
  • lung diseases

Prevention of Pleural Disorders

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Pleural Disorders. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • use of a closed drainage system

Occurrence of Pleural Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Pleural Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Pleural Disorders can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Pleural Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Pleural Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Pleural Disorders:
  • Physical Exam: By listening to your breath with a stethoscope to determine the pleural disorders
  • Chest X Ray: To view air or fluid in the pleural space and detect the cause of pleural disorder
  • Chest computed tomography scan: To look for the signs and causes of pleural disorders
  • Ultrasound: To view the pictures of your lungs
  • Chest magnetic resonance imaging scan: To view pleural effusions and tumors
  • Blood Tests: To detect the illness that increases your risk of pleural disorder
  • Arterial Blood Gas Test: To check the blood's oxygen and carbon dioxide levels
  • Thoracentesis: To evaluate whether fluid has built up in the pleural space and where it is
  • Fluid Analysis: To detect the signs of infection
  • Biopsy: To diagnose the pleural disorders

Doctor for Diagnosis of Pleural Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Pleural Disorders:
  • Pulmonologists

Complications of Pleural Disorders if untreated

Yes, Pleural Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Pleural Disorders is left untreated:
  • sharp chest pain
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Pleural Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Pleural Disorders:
  • Thoracentesis: To drain fluid, air, or blood from the pleural space
  • Pleurodesis: Seals the pleural space
  • Chemotherapy: To decrease the size of the tumors

Self-care for Pleural Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Pleural Disorders:
  • Get plenty of rest: Makes you feel better
  • Take medication as prescribed: To relieve pain and inflammation

Patient Support for Treatment of Pleural Disorders

The following actions may help Pleural Disorders patients:
  • Join supporting research groups: Provides medical knowledge and care about the disease

Is Pleural Disorders Infectious?

Yes, Pleural Disorders is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • cough or sneeze of an infected person

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Pleural Disorders.
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Lung Diseases

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