Allegheny Health Network
Find a
Request An Appointment Login to
News Classes &
Call 412.Doctors

Pleural Diseases

Pleural diseases occur when the pleura – membrane that lines the inner side of the chest cavity and covers the lungs – becomes inflamed and causes difficulty breathing.

Tests & Diagnosis

Imaging tests is when physicians use a combination of x-ray, MRI, PET, and CT scans to view your entire chest in order to accurately diagnose pleural disease.

Blood tests are used in order to look for specific markers that may indicate pleural conditions.

Fine needle biopsy is when a tiny needle is inserted into the affected area. A small tissue sample is removed and then analyzed under a microscope to look for cellular changes.

Thoracoscopy is when a small incision is made in the chest so that a camera can be passed into the cavity between the lungs and chest wall. Visualization of this area and biopsies of suspicious areas may be collected.


Video-assisted pleurodesis is when a surgeon injects a chemical agent into the pleural space so that it irritates the area and eliminates the change for fluid buildup.