Pleurisy and Pleural Effusion Treatments

Treatment for pleurisy and pleural effusion will depend on the underlying cause. Some treatments may require hospitalization. In both cases, antibiotics will be used if a bacterial infection is present, and pain medications may be administered.

For pleurisy, treatment may also include anti-inflammatory medication to help to reduce the inflammation.

For pleural effusion, treatment may also include:

  • Drainage: The fluid in the pleura can be drained with a needle or small tube inserted in the chest.
  • Pleurodesis: A medication is injected between the two pleural layers that makes them stick together to prevent the further buildup of fluid.
  • Shunt: A small tube can be temporarily placed in the chest cavity to direct fluid from the pleura to the abdomen for easier removal.
  • Pleurectomy: Part of the pleural lining can be surgically removed in severe cases.