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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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pleurisy/chest pain
Posted by: Lisa Patton
Date: May 12, 2001 4:53 PM

I had bronchitis and pleurisy in December. I still have pain 5 months later in my lower ribs and diaphragm. It feels like my diaphragm is spasming. Could the pleurisy have affected my diaphragm and made it continue to spasm. No medications currently resolve the pain. Would it be appriopriate to do massage or accupuncture for the diaphragm or do I still have infection somewhere in there? I have had chest x-ray, ultrasound and CT scan with no results. I am an otherwise healthy, very physically active 44 year old physical education teacher.

RE: pleurisy/chest pain
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: May 12, 2001 5:04 PM

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining of the lungs. It usually starts as an acute infection, but any infection can become chronic. If it does become chronic it can produce a rough surface on the lining of the lungs (the "pleurae"). This could conceivably account for what you have described. Perhaps an MRI could provide better resolution. If this is the problem, it may be that there is a surgical solution. A thoracic surgeon would be the specialist to help you sort this out.

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