Intrapleural space

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 8 Feb 2019

The intrapleural or pleural space is the fluid-filled space in between the parietal and visceral layers of the pleura. In normal conditions it contains only a small amount of serous pleural fluid.

Variant anatomy

Rarely there may be anomalous communication of the pleural spaces anteriorly. 

Related pathology

A pleural effusion is the pathological accumulation of pleural fluid, and when infected becomes an empyema

The pleural space can also be affected by a number of malignancies:

When air leaks into the pleural space, a life threatening pneumothorax may develop.

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