[Tuberculous pneumothorax. Retrospective study of 23 cases in Tunisia]

Rev Pneumol Clin. 2006 Feb;62(1):13-8. doi: 10.1016/s0761-8417(06)75407-4.
[Article in French]


The tubercular pneumothorax is a rare and severe form of tuberculosis which persists in Tunisia. We reviewed retrospectively our experience at the Pneumology-Allergology Department of the Sousse Hospital with 23 cases of tubercular pneumothorax observed between 1985 and 2003. The suggestive symptom, pneumothorax, always occurred within a context poor general health and fever. The chest roentgengraph showed pneumothorax (n=8) or hydropneumothorax (n=15), and pulmonary lesions associated in 82.5% of patients. Bacteriological proof was obtained in 21 cases; in the two other patients, histological examination of the surgical specimen was highly suggestive of tuberculosis. Treatment associated antitubercular chemotherapy in compliance with the National Plan of against Tuberculosis (n=23), chest drainage (n=21) and respiratory physiotherapy (n=18). Five patients underwent surgery: pleural decortications (n=3), pulmonary resections (n=2). Two were lost to follow-up. The course was favourable in 78% of patients; there were two cases of partitioned pyopneumothorax and one post-operative death. In our experience, tubercular pneumothorax was always associated with active cavitated tuberculosis. The course was almost favorable with antitubercular chemotherapy and chest drainage.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumothorax / complications*
  • Pneumothorax / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / therapy
  • Tunisia