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Monday 5 January 2015


The normal pleura consists of a single layer of mesothelial cells lining a fibroelastic connective tissue matrix.

The visceral pleura invests the surfaces of both lungs, and it reflects to form the parietal pleura of the adjacent chest wall.

The pleural blood supply is derived from the systemic bronchial circulation, and drainage is via a parallel system of veins.

The potential pleural space is drained by three adjacent lymphatic pathways that separately course to hilar lymph nodes, retroperitoneal nodes, and lower mediastinal node groups.

As the distal lung is also drained by the visceral pleural lymphatics, malignant diseases of the peripheral lung frequently spread to the adjacent pleura.

The close approximation of mesothelial cells, blood and lymphatic vessels, and nerves in the pleura insures that all components of pleural tissue and the pleural space will be involved by most inflammatory and neoplastic processes.

See also

- pleural cavity
- parietal pleura
- visceral pleura
- mesothelial cells