My love affair with the pleural space

John Massie
Med J Aust 2020; 213 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50871
Published online: 14 December 2020

The pleural space is one of the most slippery mysteries of the body. It is formed by two opposing serous membranes with a small amount of fluid in between holding the surfaces together. It is a “space” that is not really there; a sort of double negative existential wonder whose meaning seems perpetually out of reach. To deepen the mystery, when the pleural space is removed, the lungs function perfectly well. Clearly, however, the pleura and space between serve some purpose. A space that isn’t there and doesn’t have to be there; you can see why it’s so easy to love.

  • John Massie

  • Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC


Competing interests:

John Massie has received payment by Australian Doctor for a two‐part series (Asthma in children).


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