The pleura is a large, thin sheet of tissue that wraps around the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of the chest cavity. Between the layers of the pleura is a very thin space that is normally filled with a small amount of fluid. The fluid helps the two layers of the pleura glide smoothly past each other as the lungs breathe air in and out.
Many different conditions can cause pleural problems. Inflammation of the pleura, or pleurisy, is most commonly caused by viral infection. Congestive heart failure is a common cause of pleural effusion, an accumulation of excess fluid in the layers of tissue that line the chest cavity. Diseases of the pleura may be treated by open surgical procedures or through a thoracoscope. In either case, it is important for the clinician to minimize bleeding and ensure a clear view of the surgical site.1
For additional information about Pleural Disease:
1. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health