5 conditions that can cause pleuritis

Pleuritis, also known as pleurisy, is a condition in which the pleura become irritated or inflamed, causing chest pain.

The pleura are two membranes that surround the lungs. They help in reducing friction between the lungs and the chest wall as we breathe. These two layers also contain a fluid between them called the pleural fluid which’s function is also to reduce friction and make breathing easier.

Sometimes, these layers may become inflamed-a condition referred to as pleuritis.

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Pleuritis manifests itself by acute, sharp chest pain. The pain aggravates with breathing. It may be associated with other symptoms such as:

  • Breathlessness
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough

Many different diseases and conditions can cause pleuritis. In this article, we are going to discuss five conditions that can cause pleuritis. If you notice any symptoms of pleuritis, you can visit a Pulmonologist in Lahore.


Pneumonia refers to infection of the lung. It is mostly caused by bacteria. Other than bacteria, viruses or fungi can also cause pneumonia. You can acquire pneumonia in different ways like:

  • From the community (community-acquired pneumonia)
  • After a hospital stay (hospital-acquired pneumonia)
  • After breathing in food and liquids (aspiration pneumonia)

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a disease in which cancer cells start to grow from your lungs. The most common risk factor for developing lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Passive smoking can also increase the risk. Some diseases can also predispose a person to a greater risk of lung cancer like:

  • COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of lungs)

Lung cancer can spread to different parts of the body and can cause pleuritis which results in sharp chest pain.

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism is a condition in which a clot forms in the blood vessels of the lungs. The clot can develop in a site far from the lungs, such as the veins of the legs. When it becomes lodged in blood vessels near the pleura, it can cause pleuritis and sharp chest pain. The risk of pulmonary embolism increases in certain conditions such as:

  • Obesity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Taking oral contraceptive pills
  • Pregnancy
  • History of recent childbirth


Tuberculosis is an infection of the lungs by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. It can be acquired from person-to-person contact and living in close, crowded areas. When a healthy person with a healthy immune system gets exposed to tuberculosis, the body responds to it by forming areas of inflammation in the lungs called granulomas. The infection is contained in this area and does not cause symptomatic disease.

However, when the immunity of a healthy person goes down, this infection can spread. When the infection spreads to the pleura, it can cause pleuritis.

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Trauma to the chest

Pleuritis can also result after any history of trauma to the chest, such as:

  • Falling from height
  • Traffic Accident
  • Stab
  • Gunshot
  • Rib fracture due to diseases such as cancers

Trauma to the chest can injure and irritate the pleura, resulting in pleuritis.

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Pleuritis is a condition in which the pleura becomes inflamed or irritated. Many different conditions can cause inflammation of the pleura.

You can visit Pulmonologist in Islamabad. If you experience sharp chest pain as it may be due to pleuritis. The doctor will diagnose the underlying condition that caused pleuritis. They may also check if the pain is due to some other reason.

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