Definition:—When the pleura is affected by a chronic inflammation in the various layers of its structure, adhesion usually takes place ultimately and consequent permanent change in the structure of these tissues. There may or may not be an exudate accompanying the chronic inflammation, and the condition may follow the sub-acute form of the disease in which there has been a free exudation.
Symptomatology:—The condition is one of long duration and the symptoms are by no means conspicuous. There is a sense of constriction in the diseased area, with almost constant dull pain. The breathing is interfered with and there is a dry, harsh, hacking cough, which the patient endeavors to control. Movement increases the pain and muscular effort increases the cough; there is but little if any expectoration, but quite frequently there is bronchial hemorrhage. Usually there is but little effusion.
Treatment:—Specific indications are not marked in this condition, yet they should be diligently looked for and met with exactness and precision. The suggestions made for treatment during the convalescence of patients who have suffered from other forms of pleurisy should be followed with great care in these cases, immediate effort being made to restore the vital tone of the patient, to improve the function of the gastro intestinal tract, to stimulate nutrition and to encourage the full development of the functional action of the lungs and respiratory apparatus. The author has obtained good results from the occasional use of counter irritation over the diseased area. Out of door exercise in mild weather and deep breathing systematically performed are very important.
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine with especial reference to The Treatment of Disease, 1910, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.