• Definition

    Pleurisy is inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest (the pleura) that leads to chest pain (usually sharp) when you take a breath or cough.

    Alternative Names

    Pleuritis; Pleuritic chest pain

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Pleurisy may develop when you have lung inflammation due to infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. It is often a sign of a viral infection of the lungs. This inflammation also causes the sharp chest pain of pleurisy.

    It may also occur with:

    • Asbestos-related disease
    • Certain cancers
    • Chest trauma
    • Pulmonary embolus
    • Rheumatic diseases