Inflammation of the chest cavity is called pleurisy, as stated by WebMD. Pleurisy can be caused by an infection or a hole in one of the lungs.
Other causes include lupus, an injury to the chest or a tumor. The most common symptoms are pain in the chest that may get worse when a person breathes in. With some people, pleurisy can cause a build up of fluid in the chest cavity, which can be life threatening, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Most often, treating pleurisy requires treatment of the condition causing it. If someone suffers from shortness of breath or chest pain, they should seek medication attention.