, also known as pleuritis
, is an inflammation
of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity
surrounding the lungs
. Pleurisy has a variety of infectious and non-infectious causes. Pleurisy can cause painful respiration
(also called pleuritic chest pain) and other signs and symptoms, some of which may remain long after the pleurisy has gone away. Such sequelae
, enumerated in 19th Century medical texts, permitted retrospective diagnosis
- Inspiratory chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Pain may limit chest expansion on affected side.
- Rapid shallow breaths
- Inability to take a deep breath
- Itching in sites on the back (near the site of the lungs, but no visible rashes)
- Benjamin Franklin nearly died from the disease at the age of 84.
- Francis Scott Key died in 1843 at the home of his daughter Elizabeth Howard in Baltimore from pleurisy and was initially interred in Old Saint Paul's Cemetery in the vault of John Eager Howard.
- Carson McCullers, author of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, was diagnosed with pleurisy in 1944.
- Charlemagne, known as the father of Europe for reuniting much of the Roman Empire, died in 813 of pleurisy.
- Hernan Cortes, a spanish conquistador, died from pleurisy in 1547 at the age of 65.
- Catherine de Medici died of pleurisy at Blois in 1588 at the age of 69.
- Anna Pavlova died of pleurisy in the Hague in 1931, when on tour in the Netherlands. She was then 49.
- Chicago White Sox outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. was diagnosed with pleurisy in April 2007.
- Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player LeBron James was diagnosed with pleurisy on October 14, 2005.
- Actor Rudolph Valentino suffered from pleurisy when he died in 1926.
- Ringo Starr, former Beatles drummer, had chronic-pleurisy at age 13 in 1953.
- Japanese poet and author Kenji Miyazawa suffered from pleurisy.
- Novelist and poet Thomas Hardy died from pleurisy in 1928.
References in literature
- In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, reference is made to Laura Wingfield's bout with pleurosis during high school. At the time, Laura entertained timid but romantic feelings for Jim, who upon asking about her absence, mistakenly hears her say "blue roses" and carelessly adopts the moniker for her.
- In Eugene O'Neill's Beyond the Horizon, the main character of Robert comes down with pleurisy.
- In The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe, the main character, Colin Smith, contracts pleurisy.
- In the J. D. Salinger short story Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, the protagonist Buddy Glass is recovering from a bout of pleurisy (and has his chest tightly bound as a result).