Nonneoplastic conditions

Topic Completed: 1 December 2013

Revised: 1 March 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

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

Vaidehi Avadhani, M.D.
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Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Avadhani V. Pneumothorax. website. Accessed September 22nd, 2019.
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
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