, Volume 188, Issue 6, pp 505–510

Pleuropericarditis in a Patient with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Case Presentation and Review of the Literature


DOI: 10.1007/s00408-010-9259-y

Cite this article as:
Abu-Hijleh, M., Evans, S. & Aswad, B. Lung (2010) 188: 505. doi:10.1007/s00408-010-9259-y


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can affect the lung parenchyma and airways. Rarely it involves the pleural space and pericardium, causing inflammatory exudative pleural and/or pericardial effusions. In this report, we describe a 76-year-old patient with recurrent sterile exudative pleuropericarditis that gradually responded to treatment with steroids, and we review the relevant literature. Thoracic serositis in patients with IBD can cause pleuritis, pericarditis, pleuropericarditis, or myopericarditis. This is a relatively rare presentation of the uncommon and probably underreported and underrecognized pulmonary extraintestinal manifestations of IBD. Pleuropericardial inflammatory disease and effusion can be directly related to IBD, its complications, associated infections, or the medications used to treat it. Serositis directly related to IBD is a diagnosis of exclusion. It is important to evaluate the pleural effusion and rule out other etiologies before making this diagnosis. Pleural or pericardial biopsies are rarely necessary, and probably show nonspecific acute and chronic inflammatory changes. Although the specific pathophysiology of pleuropericardial disease in patients with IBD remains unclear, the response to systemic steroids is usually adequate.


Inflammatory bowel diseasePleuritisPleuro-pericarditisExtra-intestinal manifestations of IBD

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhanned Abu-Hijleh
    • 1
  • Samuel Evans
    • 2
  • Bassam Aswad
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Rhode Island HospitalThe Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Internal Medicine Residency Program, Rhode Island HospitalThe Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, Rhode Island HospitalThe Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA