Pleuropericarditis in a patient with inflammatory bowel disease: A case presentation and review of the literature

Muhanned Abu-Hijleh, Samuel Evans, Bassam Aswad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • Extra-intestinal manifestations of IBD
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pleuritis
  • Pleuro-pericarditis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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