Pleurisy. Coloured X-ray of the lungs of a 65 year old patient with pleurisy, an inflammation of the membranes (pleura) that line the chest cavity and lungs. A large area of inflammation (dark mass at centre left) is seen obstructing the patient's right lung. Inflammation of the pleura leads to the lungs rubbing against the chest wall, which causes sharp pain on breathing. In this case, fluid has accumulated in the space between the membranes and is causing breathing difficulties, so the lung will be drained to remove it. The underlying cause also needs to be treated, which may be a bacterial infection, viral infection, cancer or an embolism. See images M240/727 to M240/729 for the lung after draining.
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