Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
The serosa is a thin layer of cellophane-like tissue that wraps around internal organs and basically functions to keep everything from sticking together. An additional important function of the serous tissues is the secretion of lubricating fluid (serous fluid).
Serosal layer around the lungs is called pleura, around the heart is called pericardium, and around the abdominal organs is called the peritoneal serosa. Inflammation of the serosa is called pleuritis when it involves the lungs, pericarditis when involving the heart, and peritonitis when involving the abdomen.
Various names have been applied to this condition: Multiple progressive hyaloserositis, chronic deforming perihepatitis; Zuckergussleber (icing liver), pericarditic pseudocirrhosis of the liver, multiple serositis, chronic multiple serositis.
For at least three-quarters of a century surgical and medical literature has contained occasional references to this peculiar inflammation of the serous membranes, slow in its progress and leading to the formation of firm layers of fibrous tissue where the serous membranes had previously been and in certain localities to the adhesion of opposing serous surfaces.
It is generally believed that the production of this fibrous membrane is due to the action of microorganisms of low virulence. Pneumococcus, B. Coli, B. Typhi, B. Tuberculosis, are the most likely offenders. It is also suggested that the formation of this membrane is due to toxins which are developed within the liver or within other abdominal organs.
The most common sites of this inflammation have been in the abdomen, especially in its upper part, in the pleural cavities and in the pericardium. The inflammation in the upper part of the abdomen has led to the adhesion of the upper surface of the liver to the diaphragm and to the encasement of the liver and sometimes of the spleen in a "firm membrane which is composed of dense layers of connective tissue of a peculiar cartilaginous appearance." This fibrous encasement has been very firm. The inflammation in the pleura has led to the obliteration of part or all of one or both pleural cavities. The inflammation in the pericardium has caused the obliteration of the pericardial sac and in at least one instance this process has gone to the stage of calcification so that a large section of the heart has been encased in a calcareous sheath.
Ascites has been the most prominent symptom. Many of the patientshave had the ascitic fluid withdrawn time after time. It is believed that many patients with supposed cirrhosis of theliver have really had this form of serositis. Symptoms referable to the heartand to the pleura have been next most common. The disease has been chronicand patients have gradually lost strength, the character of the symptomsdepending on the site of the maximum inflammation.
There are a number of diseases in which serositis is a diagnostic or commonly occurring symptom. These include Crohn's disease, lupus, Familial Mediterranean fever, and juvenile arthritis. All of these are in large part inflammatory diseases, and either acute serositis or chronic serositis may be experienced.
Treating fibrinous serositis is depends on the disease that is causing the condition. Therefore, diagnosing the original condition will dictate the best method of treatment. If a lupus diagnosis has been made, the treatment of these conditions follows treatment directions for other lupus symptoms. Patients are encouraged to get plenty of rest and to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Persistent pain and inflammation may require a course of corticosteroids such as prednisone.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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