The Pleura, the Pleura, is a thin skin that lines the inside of the chest cavity and covers the surfaces of the lungs. The name is derived from the Greek and means flank or rib. It is the task of the pleura to ensure that the heart, the chest wall and the lungs do not stick together.
What is the pleura?
The pleura is a sliding gap that lies between the chest wall and the lungs. This gap contains liquid. The lungs follow movements of the chest wall and the diaphragm through a negative pressure in the pleura and the two pleural leaves.
In this way, the muscles enable breathing movements. The pleura consists of two leaves. While the outer leaf has grown together with the chest, the inner leaf lies directly on the lungs and is also grown together with them. There are only a few millimeters in between, the so-called pleural gap.
The pleural space is filled with serious, i.e. low-protein, fluid and lies between the pleura and the pleura. It ensures smooth movements of both lungs and supports the lungs in moving the chest wall.
Anatomy & structure
The pleura, consisting of the pleura and the pleura, is divided into the pleural domes, the pleura, the area around the connective tissue of the middle layer and the upper side of the diaphragm. The pleural leaves of the pleura secrete a liquid to keep the lungs sliding. The pleura covers the entire lungs with the thin skin.
In order to maintain the supply, the inner area regularly needs a certain amount of empty space. This creates a negative pressure that expands the lungs as you inhale. This lifts the ribs and lowers the diaphragm. On the exhalation, the ribs drop and the diaphragm rises. The lungs contract again and the air is forced out.
Function & tasks
The pleura has many sensitive nerves, which is the reason for the pain in the case of inflammation of the pleura. It is the job of the pleura to ensure that the lungs, chest wall and heart do not stick together.
Because the pleura is lining the chest cavity, the pleura acts as a layer between the lungs and the wall of the chest cavity that can be moved. In doing so, it supports the development of the lungs. Thanks to the smooth surface of the pleura and the secretion of fluid, the lungs glide smoothly during inhalation and exhalation.
In the event of severe complications such as tension pneumothorax, immediate medical care is necessary. In a tension pneumothorax, air enters the chest cavity from outside through a hole in the pleura, but the air cannot escape. The chest continues to inflate with air, resulting in rapid lung compression and severe breathing difficulties.
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Illnesses & ailments
The pleura can become inflamed with illness. If the pleura becomes roughened or the two pleural leaves stick together, breathing difficulties are the result. With a dry form of pleurisy, with inflammation of the pleura, there is no pleural effusion, with the wet form there is.
Inflammation of the pleura is usually a side effect of a disease such as pneumonia, lung infarction or lung cancer. A pleural effusion can be a symptom of other conditions. The effusion in the pleura is often punctured to remove the fluid. This provides patients with relief and relief from the pleurae pain. Severe pain, shallow breathing, and a high temperature with a dry cough may be other symptoms. A lung x-ray is needed to confirm the diagnosis. There is a significant impairment of breathing and breathing difficulties.
As a result of a pneuomthorax, air gets into the narrow pleural space, caused by a ruptured alveolus or an external injury. The lungs collapse to a minimal volume and there is no more gas exchange. A pneumothorax develops. If the pleura becomes inflamed, dangerous complications such as pleural effusion can occur. Bacterial pneumonia spreads here. After surgery in the chest or with a lung abscess, pleural empyema, a purulent effusion, can occur. The patients have a high fever and cough.
Night sweats appear and weight loss occurs. The diagnosis is made by puncturing the pleura. Another complication after inflammation of the pleura is the fusing of the two pleural leaves. The pleural skin is thick and immobile. It can be a few centimeters thick and has a tendency to shrink, which interferes with the necessary expansion of the lungs for breathing. Most malignant tumors in the pleura are metastases from other malignant tumors that originated elsewhere. Most often the lungs, breasts or tumors from the gastrointestinal tract are affected and form metastases that spread to the pleura.