Evidence-based management of paediatric primary spontaneous pneumothorax

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2009 Sep;10(3):110-7; quiz 117. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2008.12.003. Epub 2009 May 21.


The exact incidence of paediatric primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is unclear, although PSP incidence in the general population is between 6 and 18 per 100,000. PSP has been reported throughout the paediatric age range. A potential genetic predisposition for familial cases has been recently identified. Whilst there is universal consensus on the management of tension pneumothorax, lack of agreement and consistency exists across a wide range of management issues for other aspects of PSP management. Paediatric PSP may have a higher recurrence rate than adult PSP, and the presence of apical lung cysts or bullae is not predictive of recurrence. The decision for surgical intervention should be based on documented recurrence. There is a lack of paediatric evidence to guide management decisions, and extrapolation of predominantly adult data to younger age groups should not be encouraged. Given the relatively low apparent incidence, a multicentre approach to future research is required in order to generate the evidence required for informed management of PSP in children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Pleurodesis
  • Pneumothorax / etiology
  • Pneumothorax / physiopathology
  • Pneumothorax / surgery
  • Pneumothorax / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Recurrence