What is Pleura and Definition
Pleura is the membrane that covers the exterior surface of the LUNGS and lines the inside of the thoracic cavity. The pleura has the consistency of wet tissue paper and appears to cling to the lungs. The pleural space (thin area between the two layers of pleura) protects the lungs from contact with other structures within the thoracic cavity, and contains a very small amount of fluid that reduces friction with BREATHING. The pleural space can become irritated, inflamed, and infected, causing conditions such as PLEURISY and PLEURAL EFFUSION.
For further discussion of the pleura within the context of pulmonary structure and function please see the overview section “The Pulmonary System.”