Pathology of the Pleura and Mediastinum

2018 Edition
| Editors: Timothy Craig Allen, Saul Suster

Viral Infections, Pleural

  • Rebecca WatersEmail author
Reference work entry


Viral pleurisy; Viral pleuritis


Viral pleuritis is a viral infection of the pleurae, which typically causes chest pain when breathing or coughing. It is often called pleurisy. Viral infections are the most common cause of pleuritis, but it can also result from other causes, such as bacterial infections, tuberculosis, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and trauma. The inflamed pleural layers rub against each other as the lungs expand to breathe in air, leading to pleuritic chest pain. The severity of viral pleuritis varies greatly, but generally has a favorable outcome. Etiologic agents include coxsackievirus, influenza, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and adenovirus.

Patients with viral pleuritis may present with a wide variety of symptoms. A pleural rub is a common feature in which the parietal and visceral pleurae rub together and is manifested by rapid, shallow breathing. The sharp, localized...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Branch, W. T., & McNeil, B. J. (1983). Analysis of the differential diagnosis and assessment of pleuritic chest pain in young adults. American Journal of Medicine, 75, 671–679.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Jennings, N., Huggins, T., Kummerfeldt, C., DiVietro, M., Walters, K., & Sahn, S. (2013). Viral diseases of the pleura. Journal of Clinical Virology, 58, 367–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kass, S. M., Williams, P. M., & Reamy, B. V. (2007). Pleurisy. American Family Physician, 75, 1357–1364.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Somerhausen, N., Rubin, B. P., & Fletcher, C. D. (1999). Myxoid solitary fibrous tumor: A study of seven cases with emphasis on differential diagnosis. Modern Pathology, 12(5), 463–471.Google Scholar
  5. Vera Luiza Capelozzi, Danieli Cheke da Rosa, Aloísio S. Felipe da Silva (2003) The value of cytology and pleural biopsy in the differential diagnostic of nonspecific pleural effusions. Jornal de Pneumologia 29(4), 225–234. São Paulo.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Yang, S., & Rothman, R. E. (2004). PCR-based diagnostics for infectious diseases: Uses, limitations, and future applications in acute-care settings. Lancet Infectious Diseases, 4, 337–348.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA