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Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is inflammation of the membranes that surround the lungs and line the chest cavity (pleurae).[1] This can result in a sharp chest pain while breathing.[1] Occasionally the pain may be a constant dull ache.[6] Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, cough, fever or weight loss, depending on the underlying cause.[6]

The most common cause is a viral infection.[2] Other causes include bacterial infection, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, autoimmune disorders, lung cancer, following heart surgery, pancreatitis and asbestosis.[2] Occasionally the cause remains unknown.[2] The underlying mechanism involves the rubbing together of the pleurae instead of smooth gliding.[1] Other conditions that can produce similar symptom

Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is inflammation of the membranes that surround the lungs and line the chest cavity (pleurae).[1] This can result in a sharp chest pain while breathing.[1] Occasionally the pain may be a constant dull ache.[6] Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, cough, fever or weight loss, depending on the underlying cause.[6]

The most common cause is a viral infection.[2] Other causes include bacterial infection, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, autoimmune disorders, lung cancer, following heart surgery, pancreatitis and asbestosis.[2] Occasionally the cause remains unknown.[2] The underlying mechanism involves the rubbing together of the pleurae instead of smooth gliding.[1] Other conditions that can produce similar symptoms include pericarditis, heart attack, cholecystitis, pulmonary embolism, and pneumothorax.[3] Diagnostic testing may include a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests.[3][7]

Treatment depends on the underlying cause.[3] Paracetamol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen may be used to decrease pain.[4] Incentive spirometry may be recommended to encourage larger breaths.[5] About one million people are affected in the United States each year.[5] Descriptions of the condition date from at least as early as 400 BC by Hippocrates.[8]