Pediatric spontaneous pneumothorax

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2012 Jul;28(7):715-20; quiz 721-3. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e31825d2dd5.


Spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) occurs when air enters the pleural space in the absence of a traumatic or iatrogenic etiology and is an uncommon phenomenon in the pediatric population. Although the typical presentation has been well described in the literature, much debate still surrounds the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of this condition in the pediatric population. To date, much of the emphasis in the pediatric literature has been on surgical options. Questions still remain regarding the true incidence of this disease in children, appropriate diagnostic imaging, and treatment recommendations for practitioners in the emergency department setting. This review of the evidence seeks to elaborate on current knowledge and clinical practice, as well as the applicability of adult recommendations to the pediatric population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics
  • Pneumothorax* / diagnosis
  • Pneumothorax* / epidemiology
  • Pneumothorax* / therapy
  • Recurrence

Supplementary concepts

  • Pneumothorax, Primary Spontaneous