Viral pleuritis is most commonly caused by infection with coxsackie B virus. Occasionally, echovirus causes a rare condition known as epidemic pleurodynia Epidemic Pleurodynia Epidemic pleurodynia is a febrile disorder caused most commonly by a group B coxsackievirus, an enterovirus. Infection causes severe pleuritic chest or abdominal pain. Epidemic pleurodynia may... read more (Bornholm pleurodynia), manifesting as pleuritis, fever, and chest muscle spasms. The condition occurs in the late summer and affects adolescents and young adults.
The primary symptom of viral pleuritis is pleuritic pain; pleural friction rub may be a sign.
Diagnosis is suspected in patients with pleuritic chest pain with or without systemic symptoms of viral infection. Chest x-ray is usually done. Other causes of pleuritic chest pain, such as pulmonary emboli Pulmonary Embolism (PE) Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the occlusion of pulmonary arteries by thrombi that originate elsewhere, typically in the large veins of the legs or pelvis. Risk factors for pulmonary embolism are... read more and pneumonia Overview of Pneumonia Pneumonia is acute inflammation of the lungs caused by infection. Initial diagnosis is usually based on chest x-ray and clinical findings. Causes, symptoms, treatment, preventive measures, and... read more , need to be considered and sometimes ruled out with testing.
Treatment is symptomatic with oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or a short course of oral opioids if needed.