What is the prognosis of Pleurisy and Pleural Effusion?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 04, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • Pleura are what we call the membrane which covers your lungs.
  • The inflammation of this is typically known as Pleurisy.
  • The underlying diseases play a great role in the prognosis.
  • It is very important to seek medical attention at the earliest.

Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleura. Pleura are what we call the membrane which covers your lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity.

This condition is capable of making your breathing experience extremely painful and it could be associated with what is known as pleural effusion, wherein you will find excess fluid filling the area between the membrane’s layers. Pleura are double layered and it lubricates the surface of the lungs as and when they begin to inflate and deflate within your rib cage. The pleural space which is a thin fluid filled gap allows the two layers of the pleural membrane to slide against each other. Once this becomes inflamed, you will experience pain when you breathe, sneeze, or cough.

prognosis of pleurisy and pleural effusion

In patients, the prognosis largely depends upon any underlying medical illness, and here is a look at them.

Lung Infection — those who are suffering from epidemic pleurodynia or some other viral cause of pleurisy have an excellent prognosis. Also, if proper antibiotics treatment is given to patients with bacterial pneumonia then they may also have a good prognosis. This is especially true for those who are young and otherwise healthy.

Pulmonary Embolism — In cases where a small pulmonary embolism  affect less than 30 percent of the lungs and this is when the prognosis is excellent. Respiratory problems and bleeding can occur in those people in the future for large or recurrent emboli. This happens typically as a result of lung damage and also due to treatment in the long term with blood thinners.

Lung Cancer — If the patient has lung cancer, then the prognosis depends on whether the cancer had started in the lungs or did it spread there from other parts of the body. Also, it majorly depends on how much lung tissue is involved, and whether the lung cancer has spread to other tissues and organs. It has been found that the overall prognosis for those with lung cancer is pretty poor.

pleural effusion

Rheumatic Fever
— For those suffering from rheumatic fever, it has been found that the chances of prognosis is good. There is recurrence commonly in the first five years after the initial rheumatic fever episode.

Connective Tissue Disorders — People who are suffering from pleurisy resulting from lupus has good chances. But the overall prognosis depends on whether other major organs, such as the kidney, are affected by the disease.

An interesting fact about pleurisy is that it is only as serious as the underlying disease which is causing it. Therefore, if you have pleurisy then chances are that you are already undergoing treatment for an underlying disease. This is why it is very important to seek medical attention immediately.

Image Source: gettyimages.in
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