ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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 had previously obstructed the patient's right lung (seen on left). Inflammation of the pleura leads to the lungs rubbing against the chest wall, which causes sharp pain on breathing. In this case, fluid had accumulated in the space between the membranes and caused breathing difficulties, so the lung was 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 image M240/726 for the lung before being drained.
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