Article: Pleurisy

Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs, which can cause painful respiration and other symptoms. Pleurisy can be generated by a variety of infectious and non-infectious causes.


  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Sharp chest pain with breathing. Pain can limit the movement on the side of the chest with pleurisy. The pain can also be in the back around where the lungs are.
  • Rapid shallow breaths
  • Inability to take a deep breath
  • Itching in sites on the back (near the site of the lungs, but no visible rashes)

Famous cases

  • Ahmed Rida Khan , Muslim saint
  • Emperor Constantine IX died of pleurisy on 11 January 1055 after retiring to a monastery in an attempt to relieve his constant pain. He had used a daily regimine of hours-long baths, but lingered too long one day in the fall of 1054 and caught a chill that resulted in pleurisy.
  • Count Raymond III of Tripoli died of pleurisy at the age of 47 in 1187; some claim that grief over the Battle of Hattin and the siege of Jerusalem destroyed his will to live.
  • Hernan Cortes, Conquistador (Conqueror) of Mexico, died of pleurisy at the age of 62.
  • Robert Chesebrough, the founder of Chesebrough-Ponds and inventor of Vaseline, had himself coated from head-to-toe with petroleum jelly during a severe bout of pleurisy; he soon recovered.
  • Robert Fulton, an American inventor, died of pleurisy in 1815.
  • William Henry Harrison died of pleurisy in 1841, at the age of 68. (9th President of the United States)
  • Francis Scott Key, author of the Star-Spangled Banner, died of pleurisy in 1843.
  • RenĂ©e Vivien, the lesbian poet, died of pleurisy in 1909 at the age of 31.
  • Opera star Enrico Caruso died from pleurisy in 1921.
  • English writer and poet Thomas Hardy died of pleurisy in January 1928, at the age of 87.
  • Swedish film director Mauritz Stiller died from pleurisy in 1928.
  • Ballerina Anna Pavlova died of pleurisy in 1931, because the operation that would have saved her life would have left her unable to dance.
  • LeBron James had pleurisy in October of 2005. He was treated and released.
  • Ringo Starr, drummer for The Beatles, as a child in Liverpool.
  • English writer and artist Mervyn Peake survived pleurisy as a child while living in China, around 1920. Friend and biographer John Watney cites this incident as possibly significant in view of the other medical complications which would strongly affect his later life and work.
  • Charlemagne died on January 28, 814 CE at the age of seventy-one of pleurisy.
  • Benjamin Franklin died of pleurisy on April 17, 1790 at the age of 84.