Lupus is a disease that causes inflammation of numerous organs, muscles, and joints. Unfortunately, it can also cause inflamation in the lining of the lung (the pleura). The parietal pleura is a thin membrane that lines the chest wall, the diaphragm, and the mediastinum, whereas the visceral pleura is the sac that actually covers the lungs. The visceral and parietal pleura meet at the hila and form two distinct spaces in each side of the thorax. Each pleural space contains a small amount of fluid (less than 10 mL) that lubricates the pleural surfaces and allows the lungs to contract and expand easily during the breathing process. Pleurisy develops when a disease, condition, or injury causes irritation and subsequent inflammation of the pleura. Fluid may accumulate in the pleural space, causing pleural effusion, but pleurisy may also develop without effusion (dry pleurisy).
The most common cause is a viral infection, such as a simple cold or influenza. Pleural inflammation is also commonly caused by pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, pulmonary embolism, or injury.
The mainstay of treatment for pleurisy is managing the underlying disease or condition. Patients with lupus pleuritis are generally treated with an oral corticosteroid (such as prednisone). For lupus pleuritis, therapy should be initiated with prednisone 10 to 40 mg daily. The dose of prednisone should be tapered once symptoms are controlled. For patients with lupus pleuritis who show a slow or unsatisfactory response to steroids, cyclophosphamide or azathioprine are generally prescribed.
Recently, several recent studies have found a high response rate to intravenous immunoglobulin for patients with pleurisy caused by lupus. In rare cases of chronic lupus effusion that is unresponsive to drug therapy, pleural sclerosis with tetracycline, talc, or pleurectomy may be necessary.
The pain associated with pleurisy is often treated with analgesics such as acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent. Narcotic analgesics may be used for severe pain but they may impair the ability to cough. Sometimes, wrapping the entire chest with elastic bandages may help to relieve severe chest pain, but it may also increase the risk of pneumonia so discuss this with your doctor before considering it.
To prevent pleurisy, patients with diseases associated with a risk for pleurisy, such as lupus, must help to control their disease by being taking all medications as prescribed, making necessary lifestyle changes and by keeping your doctor's informed of what is going on with you.
I hope that this has been helpful :B-fly:
Peace and Blessings