What is empyema?

Also known as: pleural empyema, pyothorax, purulent pleuritis, infected liquid in the chest.

The pleura are the smooth coverings between the lungs and the chest wall. Usually they are in close contact with only a small space and a little lubricating fluid between them (pleural space). When this space fills with pus, it’s known as an empyema.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

© 2021 Nicklaus Children's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.