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Pleurisy Symptoms & Diagnosis


If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to pleurisy. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.

  • Sharp, stabbing pain towards the side and lower part of the chest especially when lying down, with relief by sitting up
  • Pain along the shoulders, neck, and abdomen
  • Aggravated pain during any movement of the chest, such as breathing and coughing
  • Dry coughing
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid and shallow breathing


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. The distinctive pain associated with pleurisy can be enough to diagnose the condition. The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen for abnormal chest sounds, such as a friction rub. The next step is determining the illness that caused the pleurisy. Tests may include the following:

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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