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Pneumothorax

A pneumothorax is a life-threatening condition in which air collects in the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis, causing partial or full collapse of the lung. A pneumothorax can be traumatic or spontaneous. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship present with a sudden onset of sharp chest pain Sharp Chest Pain Chest Pain, dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, and diminished breath sounds on exam. Symptom severity depends on the degree of the collapsed lung. A large or tension pneumothorax can result in cardiopulmonary collapse. A diagnosis is made with imaging, though tension pneumothorax is a clinical diagnosis. Management is based on the size and stability of the patient, and can include needle decompression and chest tube ( thoracostomy Thoracostomy Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Hemothorax) placement.

Last updated: Jan 8, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Classification and Epidemiology

Classification

  • Traumatic: 
    • Open: a connection through the chest wall Chest wall The chest wall consists of skin, fat, muscles, bones, and cartilage. The bony structure of the chest wall is composed of the ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae. The chest wall serves as armor for the vital intrathoracic organs and provides the stability necessary for the movement of the shoulders and arms. Chest Wall: Anatomy 
    • Closed: no connection to the outside air 
  • Spontaneous:
    • Primary: No underlying disease can be identified.
    • Secondary: known pre-existing lung conditions

Epidemiology

  • Traumatic:
    • Occurs more frequently than spontaneous pneumothorax
    • Iatrogenic Iatrogenic Any adverse condition in a patient occurring as the result of treatment by a physician, surgeon, or other health professional, especially infections acquired by a patient during the course of treatment. Anterior Cord Syndrome incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency: 5–7 per 10,000 hospital admissions
    • 1%–2% of all neonates (higher risk in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with respiratory distress syndrome)
  • Primary spontaneous pneumothorax:
    • More common in younger patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship, 20–30 years old
    • Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship are typically tall and slim.
    • Gender Gender Gender Dysphoria ratio of 3–6:1 men > women
    • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency of 7.4 per 100,000 per year in the United States
  • Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax:
    • Occurs in middle-aged and older patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship.
    • Gender Gender Gender Dysphoria ratio is 3:1 men > women.
    • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency:
      • Men: 6.3 per 100,000 per year
      • Women: 2 per 100,000 per year

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Etiology

Traumatic pneumothorax

  • Blunt or penetrating injury Penetrating Injury Brown-Séquard Syndrome
  • Iatrogenic Iatrogenic Any adverse condition in a patient occurring as the result of treatment by a physician, surgeon, or other health professional, especially infections acquired by a patient during the course of treatment. Anterior Cord Syndrome
    • Lung surgery
    • Central venous catheter Central Venous Catheter Central venous catheters are IV lines placed into the large central veins for monitoring of central venous pressure (CVP), prolonged drug administration, or administration of parenteral nutrition. The most common sites of insertion are the internal jugular and subclavian veins. Central Venous Catheter insertion
    • Thoracentesis Thoracentesis Aspiration of fluid or air from the thoracic cavity. It is coupled sometimes with the administration of drugs into the pleural cavity. Thoracic Surgery
    • Mechanical ventilation Ventilation The total volume of gas inspired or expired per unit of time, usually measured in liters per minute. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing
    • Esophageal procedures

Spontaneous pneumothorax

  • Primary ( idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis): ruptured apical subpleural blebs Blebs Ischemic Cell Damage or bullae Bullae Erythema Multiforme
  • Secondary: 
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Pulmonary disease Diseases involving the respiratory system. Blastomyces/Blastomycosis ( COPD COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)) accounts for 50% of spontaneous cases.
    • Bronchiectasis Bronchiectasis Bronchiectasis is a chronic disease of the airways that results from permanent bronchial distortion. This results from a continuous cycle of inflammation, bronchial damage and dilation, impaired clearance of secretions, and recurrent infections. Bronchiectasis
    • Lung malignancies
    • Lung infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
      • Pneumocystis jirovecii 
      • Tuberculosis Tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria. The bacteria usually attack the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body. Approximately 30% of people around the world are infected with this pathogen, with the majority harboring a latent infection. Tuberculosis spreads through the air when a person with active pulmonary infection coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis
      • Bacterial pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia
      • Particularly seen in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with human immunodeficiency virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Anti-HIV Drugs ( HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs) infection
    • Genetic diseases:
      • Cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
      • Marfan’s syndrome
      • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a heterogeneous group of inherited connective tissue disorders that are characterized by hyperextensible skin, hypermobile joints, and fragility of the skin and connective tissue. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
      • Homocystinuria
    • Cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change lung disorders:
      • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Lymphangioleiomyomatosis A disease characterized by the progressive invasion of smooth muscle cells into the lymphatic vessels, and the blood vessels. The majority of the cases occur in the lungs of women of childbearing age, eventually blocking the flow of air, blood, and lymph. The common symptom is shortness of breath (dyspnea). Interstitial Lung Diseases
      • Diffuse Langerhans cell histiocytosis
      • Lymphocytic interstitial pneumonitis Pneumonitis Human Herpesvirus 6 and 7
    • Thoracic endometriosis Endometriosis Endometriosis is a common disease in which patients have endometrial tissue implanted outside of the uterus. Endometrial implants can occur anywhere in the pelvis, including the ovaries, the broad and uterosacral ligaments, the pelvic peritoneum, and the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts. Endometriosis (catamenial pneumothorax)
  • Smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases is a major risk factor for primary and secondary pneumothoraces.

Pathophysiology

As air enters the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis, which normally has a negative pressure, the elastic Elastic Connective Tissue: Histology recoil Recoil Vessels can stretch and return to their original shape after receiving the stroke volume of blood ejected by the left ventricle during systole. Arteries: Histology in the lung tissues causes either a partial or full lung collapse.

Normal physiology

  • Pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis has a negative pressure.
  • Chest wall Chest wall The chest wall consists of skin, fat, muscles, bones, and cartilage. The bony structure of the chest wall is composed of the ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae. The chest wall serves as armor for the vital intrathoracic organs and provides the stability necessary for the movement of the shoulders and arms. Chest Wall: Anatomy expands → surface tension Surface tension The force acting on the surface of a liquid, tending to minimize the area of the surface. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) between parietal Parietal One of a pair of irregularly shaped quadrilateral bones situated between the frontal bone and occipital bone, which together form the sides of the cranium. Skull: Anatomy and visceral pleura Visceral pleura Pleura: Anatomy expands the lung
  • Lung tissue has an elastic Elastic Connective Tissue: Histology recoil Recoil Vessels can stretch and return to their original shape after receiving the stroke volume of blood ejected by the left ventricle during systole. Arteries: Histology → innate tendency to collapse inward

Traumatic pneumothorax

  • Closed pneumothorax: blunt trauma → lung damage → air flows from the lung into the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis
  • Open pneumothorax: penetrating trauma to the chest wall Chest wall The chest wall consists of skin, fat, muscles, bones, and cartilage. The bony structure of the chest wall is composed of the ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae. The chest wall serves as armor for the vital intrathoracic organs and provides the stability necessary for the movement of the shoulders and arms. Chest Wall: Anatomy → pathway for air directly into pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis
Open and closed pneumothorax

Closed and open pneumothoraces:
In a closed pneumothorax, air travels in and out of the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis from the lung. However, in an open pneumothorax, a defect in the chest wall Chest wall The chest wall consists of skin, fat, muscles, bones, and cartilage. The bony structure of the chest wall is composed of the ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae. The chest wall serves as armor for the vital intrathoracic organs and provides the stability necessary for the movement of the shoulders and arms. Chest Wall: Anatomy allows air to move in and out of the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis.

Image by Lecturio.

Spontaneous pneumothorax

  • Ruptured bleb → air flows from the lung into the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis → positive pleural pressure → compressed lung
  • Lung collapses until an equilibrium Equilibrium Occurs when tumor cells survive the initial elimination attempt These cells are not able to progress, being maintained in a state of dormancy by the adaptive immune system. In this phase, tumor immunogenicity is edited, where T cells keep selectively attacking highly immunogenic tumor cells.This attack leaves other cells with less immunogenicity to potentially develop resistance to the immune response. Cancer Immunotherapy is achieved or the rupture seals.
  • Vital capacity Vital capacity The volume of air that is exhaled by a maximal expiration following a maximal inspiration. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing and ↓ partial pressure Partial pressure The pressure that would be exerted by one component of a mixture of gases if it were present alone in a container. Gas Exchange of oxygen

Tension pneumothorax

  • Life threatening and can develop from any type of a pneumothorax
  • Air enters the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis through a 1-way valve mechanism → air cannot escape Escape With constant immune mechanisms holding unstable tumor cells in equilibrium, tumor-cell variants may emerge. These cancer cells may express fewer antigens on their surfaces or lose their MHC class I expression.Variants may also protect themselves from T-cell attack via expression of IC molecules on their surfaces, like normal cells.Creation of an immunosuppressive state in the microenvironment is another way to grow without immunologic interference. Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Air accumulates in the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis with each inspiratory phase → ↑ pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis pressure → shifting of the mediastinum Mediastinum The mediastinum is the thoracic area between the 2 pleural cavities. The mediastinum contains vital structures of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems including the heart and esophagus, and major thoracic vessels. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of the contralateral lung → hypoxia Hypoxia Sub-optimal oxygen levels in the ambient air of living organisms. Ischemic Cell Damage
  • Eventual compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of the vena cava and atria → ↓ venous return to the heart and ↓ cardiac Cardiac Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) function
  • Leads to rapid cardiopulmonary collapse
Tension pneumothorax

Tension pneumothorax:
Spontaneous and traumatic pneumothoraces can develop into a tension pneumothorax if the defect that allows air into the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis becomes a 1-way valve (air enters during inspiration Inspiration Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing, but cannot escape Escape With constant immune mechanisms holding unstable tumor cells in equilibrium, tumor-cell variants may emerge. These cancer cells may express fewer antigens on their surfaces or lose their MHC class I expression.Variants may also protect themselves from T-cell attack via expression of IC molecules on their surfaces, like normal cells.Creation of an immunosuppressive state in the microenvironment is another way to grow without immunologic interference. Cancer Immunotherapy during expiration Expiration Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing), which causes rising pressure in the pleural cavity Pleural cavity Paired but separate cavity within the thoracic cavity. It consists of the space between the parietal and visceral pleura and normally contains a capillary layer of serous fluid that lubricates the pleural surfaces. Pleura: Anatomy, shifting the mediastinum Mediastinum The mediastinum is the thoracic area between the 2 pleural cavities. The mediastinum contains vital structures of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems including the heart and esophagus, and major thoracic vessels. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy to the contralateral side.

Image by Lecturio.

Clinical Presentation

The clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor will depend on the size of the pneumothorax. A tension pneumothorax will be associated with rapid clinical deterioration.

Symptoms

  • Asymptomatic (small pneumothoraces)
  • Dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea:
    • Can range from mild to severe
    • May be gradual or sudden
  • Sudden sharp pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways on the affected side
  • Pleuritic chest pain Chest Pain Chest pain is one of the most common and challenging complaints that may present in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The differential diagnosis of chest pain is large and includes cardiac, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and psychiatric etiologies. Chest Pain

Physical exam

Mnemonic

The signs and symptoms of tension pneumothorax is summarized with: P-THORAX:

  • P: Pleuritic pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • T: Tracheal deviation
  • H: Hyper-resonance
  • O: Onset sudden
  • R: Reduced breath sounds
  • A: Absent fremitus
  • X: X-ray showing collapse

Diagnosis

Imaging

The diagnosis is suspected based on the clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor, and confirmed by imaging. Tension pneumothorax is a clinical diagnosis, and management should not wait for imaging confirmation.

  • Chest radiograph:
    • The easiest available imaging
    • Should be performed in the upright position (when possible)
    • General findings:
      • White visceral pleural line defining the lung and pleural air
      • Bronchovascular markings are not visible beyond the pleural edge.
      • Deep sulcus sign (gas outlines the costophrenic sulcus)
      • Ipsilateral hemidiaphragm elevation
      • Trauma patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship may have a concurrent hemothorax Hemothorax A hemothorax is a collection of blood in the pleural cavity. Hemothorax most commonly occurs due to damage to the intercostal arteries or from a lung laceration following chest trauma. Hemothorax can also occur as a complication of disease, or hemothorax may be spontaneous or iatrogenic. Hemothorax.
    • Tension pneumothorax findings:
      • Potential mediastinal shift to the contralateral side
      • Tracheal deviation to the contralateral side
      • Ipsilateral hemidiaphragm flattening
      • Ribs Ribs A set of twelve curved bones which connect to the vertebral column posteriorly, and terminate anteriorly as costal cartilage. Together, they form a protective cage around the internal thoracic organs. Chest Wall: Anatomy are spread apart.
    • Small pneumothoraces will typically not show on an X-ray X-ray Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard x-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength x-rays. Soft x-rays or grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the x-ray spectrum overlaps the gamma rays wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and x-rays is based on their radiation source. Pulmonary Function Tests.
  • Ultrasound:
    • More sensitive than X-ray X-ray Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard x-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength x-rays. Soft x-rays or grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the x-ray spectrum overlaps the gamma rays wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and x-rays is based on their radiation source. Pulmonary Function Tests, but is technician dependent
    • Can be done rapidly at the bedside
    • Findings:
      • Presence of a lung point (the boundary between the lung and pneumothorax)
      • Lung sliding will be absent at the location of a pneumothorax.
  • Computed tomography (CT): 
    • The most sensitive
    • Used if the diagnosis remains uncertain after radiographs
    • Can provide additional information about associated causes
    • Findings:
      • Air in the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis
      • Can evaluate for loculations, pleural pathology, and lung disease

Pneumothorax size determination

  • Based on imaging (radiographs, CT)
  • Can be used in combination with the clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor to guide management
  • Accuracy is variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables.
  • There are several methods:
    • Light index: % = 100 – [(lung diameter3 / hemithorax diameter3) x 100]
    • Average interpleural distance (AID):
      • Interpleural space (area between the collapsed lung and inner chest wall Chest wall The chest wall consists of skin, fat, muscles, bones, and cartilage. The bony structure of the chest wall is composed of the ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae. The chest wall serves as armor for the vital intrathoracic organs and provides the stability necessary for the movement of the shoulders and arms. Chest Wall: Anatomy) is measured at 3 points (apex, mid-thorax, and base).
      • The values of the 3 points are then averaged.
    • British Thoracic Society (BTS) guidelines: 
      • Interpleural space at the hilar level is measured.
      • < 2 cm is small, ≥ 2 cm is large
    • Apex-to-cupula distance:
      • Measured from the apex of the lung to the chest wall Chest wall The chest wall consists of skin, fat, muscles, bones, and cartilage. The bony structure of the chest wall is composed of the ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae. The chest wall serves as armor for the vital intrathoracic organs and provides the stability necessary for the movement of the shoulders and arms. Chest Wall: Anatomy
      • < 3 cm is small, ≥ 3 cm is large
Pneumothorax size determination

Chest radiograph of a patient with a left-sided pneumothorax:
H represents the diameter of the inner hemithorax at the hilar level, and L represents the diameter of the collapsed lung. The Light index, in this case, estimated the pneumothorax size to be 34%.

Image: “Chest radiograph” by Tung-Ming Tsai. License: CC BY 4.0.

Management and Complications

The management of a pneumothorax depends on the amount of air collected in the pleural cavity Pleural cavity Paired but separate cavity within the thoracic cavity. It consists of the space between the parietal and visceral pleura and normally contains a capillary layer of serous fluid that lubricates the pleural surfaces. Pleura: Anatomy and the stability of the patient.

Tension pneumothorax and unstable patients Unstable Patients Blunt Chest Trauma

  • Supplemental oxygen Supplemental Oxygen Respiratory Failure
  • Immediate chest tube thoracostomy Tube Thoracostomy Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery:
    • A catheter is inserted into the chest wall Chest wall The chest wall consists of skin, fat, muscles, bones, and cartilage. The bony structure of the chest wall is composed of the ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae. The chest wall serves as armor for the vital intrathoracic organs and provides the stability necessary for the movement of the shoulders and arms. Chest Wall: Anatomy.
    • Placed in the 4th to 5th intercostal space at the midaxillary line Midaxillary Line Examination of the Breast
  • Needle decompression if chest tube placement Tube placement Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery needs to be delayed (e.g., prehospital care):
    • 14- or 16-gauge needle is inserted through the chest wall Chest wall The chest wall consists of skin, fat, muscles, bones, and cartilage. The bony structure of the chest wall is composed of the ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae. The chest wall serves as armor for the vital intrathoracic organs and provides the stability necessary for the movement of the shoulders and arms. Chest Wall: Anatomy.
    • 2nd or 3rd intercostal space in the midclavicular line
    • 5th intercostal space in the anterior or midaxillary line Midaxillary Line Examination of the Breast is another option.
    • Should be followed by chest tube placement Tube placement Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery
Chest tube placement into the chest and re-expansion of the lung

Demonstration of chest tube placement Tube placement Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery for a pneumothorax:
The chest tube is placed in the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis, which allows re-expansion of the collapsed lung.

Image by Lecturio.

Stable patients Stable Patients Blunt Chest Trauma

Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship are deemed stable if:

  • Respiratory rate Respiratory rate The number of times an organism breathes with the lungs (respiration) per unit time, usually per minute. Pulmonary Examination < 24 breaths per minute
  • Heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology is between 60–120 beats per minute.
  • Blood pressure is normal.
  • Oxygen saturation Oxygen Saturation Basic Procedures > 90% on room air
  • Patient is able to speak in full sentences.

Small pneumothorax:

  • Can usually monitor if the patient is asymptomatic
  • Serial radiographs are performed to monitor for progression.
  • Supplemental oxygen Supplemental Oxygen Respiratory Failure for all patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with secondary spontaneous pneumothorax

Large pneumothorax:

  • Traumatic pneumothorax: chest tube placement Tube placement Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery
  • Primary spontaneous:
    • Catheter aspiration to remove pleural air is the 1st step.
    • If there is no improvement, or the pneumothorax recurs, a chest tube is placed.
  • Secondary spontaneous:
    • Chest tube placement Tube placement Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery 
    • Treatment for the underlying disease
    • Thoracic surgery Thoracic Surgery Basic surgical intervention in the thoracic cavity has the primary goal of alleviating any malady that mechanically affects the function of the heart and lungs, which can be secondary to underlying pathologies or, most commonly, trauma. Interventions include tube thoracostomy, thoracentesis, and emergency thoracotomy. Thoracic Surgery consultation for definitive management (due to a high likelihood of recurrence)

Definitive management:

  • Indications:
    • Recurrence of primary spontaneous pneumothorax
    • 1st occurrence of a secondary spontaneous pneumothorax
    • Pneumothorax is unresponsive to chest tube placement Tube placement Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery.
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery Thoracic Surgery Basic surgical intervention in the thoracic cavity has the primary goal of alleviating any malady that mechanically affects the function of the heart and lungs, which can be secondary to underlying pathologies or, most commonly, trauma. Interventions include tube thoracostomy, thoracentesis, and emergency thoracotomy. Thoracic Surgery (VATS):
    • Pleurodesis with mechanical pleural abrasion Abrasion Soft Tissue Abscess or talc to seal the pleural space Pleural space The thin serous membrane enveloping the lungs (lung) and lining the thoracic cavity. Pleura consist of two layers, the inner visceral pleura lying next to the pulmonary parenchyma and the outer parietal pleura. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity which contains a thin film of liquid. Pleuritis
    • Bleb or bullae Bullae Erythema Multiforme closure
    • Lung volume reduction (for patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with COPD COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD))
  • Chemical pleurodesis:
    • Intrapleural injections of talc or tetracycline Tetracycline A naphthacene antibiotic that inhibits amino Acyl tRNA binding during protein synthesis. Drug-induced Liver Injury
    • Used if a patient cannot undergo surgery

Complications

  • Respiratory failure Respiratory failure Respiratory failure is a syndrome that develops when the respiratory system is unable to maintain oxygenation and/or ventilation. Respiratory failure may be acute or chronic and is classified as hypoxemic, hypercapnic, or a combination of the two. Respiratory Failure
  • Cardiac Cardiac Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) arrest
  • Pneumomediastinum Pneumomediastinum Mediastinitis (air is present in the mediastinum Mediastinum The mediastinum is the thoracic area between the 2 pleural cavities. The mediastinum contains vital structures of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems including the heart and esophagus, and major thoracic vessels. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy)
  • Pneumoperitoneum Pneumoperitoneum A condition with trapped gas or air in the peritoneal cavity, usually secondary to perforation of the internal organs such as the lung and the gastrointestinal tract, or to recent surgery. Pneumoperitoneum may be purposely introduced to aid radiological examination. Perforated Viscus (air is in the peritoneal cavity Peritoneal Cavity The space enclosed by the peritoneum. It is divided into two portions, the greater sac and the lesser sac or omental bursa, which lies behind the stomach. The two sacs are connected by the foramen of winslow, or epiploic foramen. Peritoneum: Anatomy)
  • Re-expansion pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid within the lung parenchyma and alveoli as a consequence of a disease process. Based on etiology, pulmonary edema is classified as cardiogenic or noncardiogenic. Patients may present with progressive dyspnea, orthopnea, cough, or respiratory failure. Pulmonary Edema:
    • Occurs with rapid expansion of the lung
    • Higher risk if the lung has been collapsed for several days
  • Procedure complications:
    • Infection
    • Fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula formation and air leaks
    • Intercostal nerve damage
    • Bleeding
  • Recurrence

Differential Diagnosis

  • Pulmonary embolism Pulmonary Embolism Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a potentially fatal condition that occurs as a result of intraluminal obstruction of the main pulmonary artery or its branches. The causative factors include thrombi, air, amniotic fluid, and fat. In PE, gas exchange is impaired due to the decreased return of deoxygenated blood to the lungs. Pulmonary Embolism (PE): obstruction of the pulmonary arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology, most often due to thrombus migration from the deep venous system. Signs and symptoms include pleuritic chest pain Chest Pain Chest pain is one of the most common and challenging complaints that may present in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The differential diagnosis of chest pain is large and includes cardiac, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and psychiatric etiologies. Chest Pain, dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, tachypnea Tachypnea Increased respiratory rate. Pulmonary Examination, and tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children. Severe cases can result in hemodynamic instability or cardiopulmonary arrest Cardiopulmonary arrest Cardiac arrest is the sudden, complete cessation of cardiac output with hemodynamic collapse. Patients present as pulseless, unresponsive, and apneic. Rhythms associated with cardiac arrest are ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia, asystole, or pulseless electrical activity. Cardiac Arrest. A chest CT with angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery is the primary method of diagnosis. Management includes oxygenation, anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs, and thrombolytic therapy for unstable patients Unstable Patients Blunt Chest Trauma.
  • Hemothorax Hemothorax A hemothorax is a collection of blood in the pleural cavity. Hemothorax most commonly occurs due to damage to the intercostal arteries or from a lung laceration following chest trauma. Hemothorax can also occur as a complication of disease, or hemothorax may be spontaneous or iatrogenic. Hemothorax: a collection of blood in the pleural cavity Pleural cavity Paired but separate cavity within the thoracic cavity. It consists of the space between the parietal and visceral pleura and normally contains a capillary layer of serous fluid that lubricates the pleural surfaces. Pleura: Anatomy, typically following chest trauma. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship present with shortness of breath Shortness of breath Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea and chest pain Chest Pain Chest pain is one of the most common and challenging complaints that may present in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The differential diagnosis of chest pain is large and includes cardiac, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and psychiatric etiologies. Chest Pain. Physical exam findings include hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension, tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children, tracheal deviation, and dullness on percussion Percussion Act of striking a part with short, sharp blows as an aid in diagnosing the condition beneath the sound obtained. Pulmonary Examination. Management includes fluid resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome, chest tube placement Tube placement Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery, and potential surgery.
  • Pleural effusion Pleural Effusion Pleural effusion refers to the accumulation of fluid between the layers of the parietal and visceral pleura. Common causes of this condition include infection, malignancy, autoimmune disorders, or volume overload. Clinical manifestations include chest pain, cough, and dyspnea. Pleural Effusion: an accumulation of fluid within the pleural cavity Pleural cavity Paired but separate cavity within the thoracic cavity. It consists of the space between the parietal and visceral pleura and normally contains a capillary layer of serous fluid that lubricates the pleural surfaces. Pleura: Anatomy. Pleural effusion Pleural Effusion Pleural effusion refers to the accumulation of fluid between the layers of the parietal and visceral pleura. Common causes of this condition include infection, malignancy, autoimmune disorders, or volume overload. Clinical manifestations include chest pain, cough, and dyspnea. Pleural Effusion can be caused by many conditions, including infection, malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax, and heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR). Symptoms can include chest pain Chest Pain Chest pain is one of the most common and challenging complaints that may present in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The differential diagnosis of chest pain is large and includes cardiac, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and psychiatric etiologies. Chest Pain, cough, dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, and orthopnea Orthopnea Pulmonary Edema. The diagnosis is made with imaging, and pleural fluid analysis can help determine an etiology. Management is dependent on the underlying condition and severity, but may include monitoring, thoracentesis Thoracentesis Aspiration of fluid or air from the thoracic cavity. It is coupled sometimes with the administration of drugs into the pleural cavity. Thoracic Surgery, chest tube placement Tube placement Surgical procedure involving the creation of an opening (stoma) into the chest cavity for drainage; used in the treatment of pleural effusion; pneumothorax; hemothorax; and empyema. Thoracic Surgery, or surgery.
  • Myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction: myocardial damage due to obstructed blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure in the coronary arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology. Symptoms include substernal chest pain Chest Pain Chest pain is one of the most common and challenging complaints that may present in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The differential diagnosis of chest pain is large and includes cardiac, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and psychiatric etiologies. Chest Pain, dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, and diaphoresis. The diagnosis is made from electrocardiogram Electrocardiogram An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) ( ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)) changes, elevated troponins, and the demonstration of arterial disease during cardiac catheterization Cardiac Catheterization Procedures in which placement of cardiac catheters is performed for therapeutic or diagnostic procedures. Cardiac Surgery. Management includes antiplatelet agents Antiplatelet agents Antiplatelet agents are medications that inhibit platelet aggregation, a critical step in the formation of the initial platelet plug. Abnormal, or inappropriate, platelet aggregation is a key step in the pathophysiology of arterial ischemic events. The primary categories of antiplatelet agents include aspirin, ADP inhibitors, phosphodiesterase/adenosine uptake inhibitors, and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors. Antiplatelet Drugs, beta blockers, anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs, statins Statins Statins are competitive inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase in the liver. HMG-CoA reductase is the rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis. Inhibition results in lowered intrahepatocytic cholesterol formation, resulting in up-regulation of LDL receptors and, ultimately, lowering levels of serum LDL and triglycerides. Statins, and revascularization Revascularization Thromboangiitis Obliterans (Buerger’s Disease)
  • Pericarditis Pericarditis Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, often with fluid accumulation. It can be caused by infection (often viral), myocardial infarction, drugs, malignancies, metabolic disorders, autoimmune disorders, or trauma. Acute, subacute, and chronic forms exist. Pericarditis: inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the pericardium Pericardium A conical fibroserous sac surrounding the heart and the roots of the great vessels (aorta; venae cavae; pulmonary artery). Pericardium consists of two sacs: the outer fibrous pericardium and the inner serous pericardium. The latter consists of an outer parietal layer facing the fibrous pericardium, and an inner visceral layer (epicardium) resting next to the heart, and a pericardial cavity between these two layers. Heart: Anatomy, which can be due to infection, myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction, and autoimmune disorders. Signs and symptoms include chest pain Chest Pain Chest pain is one of the most common and challenging complaints that may present in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The differential diagnosis of chest pain is large and includes cardiac, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and psychiatric etiologies. Chest Pain (which can worsen with laying down and improve with sitting up), dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, and a pericardial rub. The diagnosis is based on the clinical picture and characteristic ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) findings. Treatment includes pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control, anti-inflammatory medications, and colchicine Colchicine A major alkaloid from colchicum autumnale l. And found also in other colchicum species. Its primary therapeutic use is in the treatment of gout. Gout Drugs.

References

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  2. Bintcliffe O.J., Hallifax R.J., and Edey A., et al. Spontaneous pneumothorax: Time to rethink management? Lancet Respir Med 2015; 3:578.
  3. Lesur O., Delorme N., and Fromaget J.M., et al. Computed tomography in the etiologic assessment of idiopathic spontaneous pneumothorax. Chest 1990; 98:341.
  4. Light, R. and Lee, G.Y. (2020). Pneumothorax in adults: Epidemiology and etiology. UpToDate. Retrieved on December 2nd, 2020 from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pneumothorax-in-adults-epidemiology-and-etiology
  5. Light, R.W., and Lee, Y.G. (2020). Clinical presentation and diagnosis of pneumothorax. In Finlay, G. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-presentation-and-diagnosis-of-pneumothorax?
  6. Light, R.W., and Lee, Y.G. (2019). Treatment of secondary spontaneous pneumothorax in adults. In Finlay, G. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-secondary-spontaneous-pneumothorax-in-adults
  7. Light, R.W., and Lee, Y.G. (2020). Treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax in adults. In Finlay, G. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-primary-spontaneous-pneumothorax-in-adults
  8. Light, R.W., and Lee, Y.G. (2019). Pneumothorax: Definitive management and prevention of recurrence. In Finlay, G. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pneumothorax-definitive-management-and-prevention-of-recurrence
  9. Daley, B.J., and Bhimji, S. (2020). Pneumothorax. In Mancini, M.C. (Ed.), Medscape. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/424547-overview
  10. Light, R.W. (2019). Pneumothorax. [online] MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/pulmonary-disorders/mediastinal-and-pleural-disorders/pneumothorax
  11. Weiser, T.G. (2020). Pneumothorax (traumatic). [online] MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/thoracic-trauma/pneumothorax-traumatic

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