Pleural Friction Rub Treatment: Pleural Effusion Diagnosis, Symptoms

Normally, upon auscultation, breath sounds should be clear. The only sound that should be heard upon inhalation and exhalation in a normal, healthy patient is the sound of air coming in through the lungs. Upon auscultation, when abnormal sounds are heard or sounds are heard that are contrary to normal breath sounds, this indicates a condition affecting the chest cavity such as the case with a pleural rub.

Pleural Effusion Symptoms And Diagnosis

  • Also known as pleural rub.
  • Is not a medical condition but is a medical sign.
  • This can be described as a squeaking or grating sounds made when the pleural lining rub together during respiration.
  • The sound of a pleural rub can be heard using a stethoscope.
  • More often it is clearly heard when you inhale the air.
  • Auscultation of a pleural rub indicates a medical disease affecting the chest cavity.
  • Pleural friction rub makes it easy for the doctor to diagnose the lung disease especially pleurisy.
  • Once he is certain of pleural friction rub, he will further suggest certain test and investigations for confirming the diagnosis.
  • X-ray, ultra sound of the chest, and complete blood count and ESR will further help to differentiate the lung diseases, besides the sign of pleural rub.

Causes Of Pleural Friction Rub

  • A pleural rub is produced when the pleural lining rubs together.
  • This can occur when the pleural layers have become inflamed and have lost its natural lubrication.
  • When the patient breathes in and out, the expansion of the lungs causes the pleural layers to rub together and produce an abnormal breath sound.

Treatment For Pleural Friction Rub

  • There is no treatment for pleural rub; rather, treatment is targeted towards the disease causing such an abnormal breath sound.
  • Pleural rubs are usually indicative of pleurisy or other medical conditions affecting the chest cavity.
  • Pleurisy is defined as the inflammation of the linings of the lungs and the chest. It is the inflammation that causes the rubbing of the pleural lining. It is divided into dry pleurisy when the fluid in the sac is normal in volume and pleurisy with effusion where the fluid collection is large.
  • Treating pleurisy involves treating the inflammation of the pleural lining and along with the infection that usually occurs with this disease. Common causes of pleurisy are dry pneumonia, tuberculosis, viral infection, asbestosis, malignant disease etc.
  • When pleurisy or other respiratory conditions are resolved, pleural rubs should no longer be audible.

One Comment

  1. Alec said:

    Is it possible for a pleural friction rub to disappear on its own? If so, are there any natural ways to reduce inflammation within the lungs and chest?

    October 24, 2012

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