Reviewed by National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

The main symptom of pleurisy is a sharp or stabbing pain in your chest that gets worse when you breathe in deeply or cough or sneeze. The pain may stay in one place or it may spread to your shoulder or back. Sometimes it becomes a fairly constant dull ache.

Depending on what's causing the pleurisy, you may have other symptoms, such as:

  • Shortness of breath

  • A cough

  • Fever and chills

  • Rapid, shallow breathing

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • A sore throat followed by pain and swelling in your joints

Pleural effusion, often associated with pleurisy, often has no symptoms itself.


Clinical Trials

For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.