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Acute Med. 2012;11(3):172-82.

Problem based review: pleuritic chest pain.

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Darent Valley Hospital.


Pleuritic pain, a sharp discomfort near the chest wall exacerbated by inspiration is associated with a number of pathologies. Pulmonary embolus and infection are two common causes but diagnosis can often be challenging, both for experienced physicians and trainees. The underlying anatomy and pathophysiology of such pain and the most common aetiologies are presented. Clinical symptoms and signs that may arise alongside pleuritic pain are then discussed, followed by an introduction to the diagnostic tools such as the WellsÂ’ score and current guidelines that can help to select the most appropriate investigation(s). Management of pulmonary embolism and other common causes of pleuritic pain are also discussed and highlighted by a clinical vignette.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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