Nonneoplastic conditions

Author: Vaidehi Avadhani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 22 March 2018, last major update December 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Pneumothorax[TI] pleural[TI] full text[sb]

Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Avadhani, V. Pneumothorax. website. Accessed October 20th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • All types may cause compression, collapse, atelectasis of lung and associated respiratory distress
  • Either spontaneous, traumatic or therapeutic
    • Spontaneous: due to abscess, tuberculosis, emphysema, asthma
    • Traumatic: due to puncture of chest wall or lung
    • Therapeutic: formerly used to treat tuberculosis
  • Spontaneous idiopathic: young people, rupture of small, peripheral, apical subpleural blebs, usually subsides spontaneously but may recur and be disabling
  • Tension pneumothorax: acts as one way valve to trap air during inhalation; may compress contralateral lung, mediastinal structures