Pleural friction rub

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Pleural friction rubs are creaking leathery lung sounds, that is both inspiratory and expiratory. Pleural and visceral linings become inflamed due to rubbing during the respiratory process. Sound is consistent through inhalation and exhalation. Pleural rubbing is characteristic of pleurisy and is associated with pleural effusion and chest pain when breathing.

Causes

Causes in Alphabetical Order: [1] [2]

Diagnosis

Laboratory Findings

  • Labs include

Chest X Ray

  • May show pleural effusion and could possibly reveal underlying problems

CT

  • Spiral CT

Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies

Treatment

Medical Therapy

  • Administer supplemental oxygen

Acute Pharmacotherapies

  • NSAIDs
  • Narcotics
  • Chest wraps if pain is present

Prevention

  • Isolation if TB or influenza are suspected

References

  1. Sailer, Christian, Wasner, Susanne. Differential Diagnosis Pocket. Hermosa Beach, CA: Borm Bruckmeir Publishing LLC, 2002:77 ISBN 1591032016
  2. Kahan, Scott, Smith, Ellen G. In A Page: Signs and Symptoms. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2004:68 ISBN 140510368X

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