Pneumothorax: From Definition to Diagnosis and Treatment

J Thorac Dis. 2014 Oct;6(Suppl 4):S372-6. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.09.24.


Pneumothorax is an urgent situation that has to be treated immediately upon diagnosis. Pneumothorax is divided to primary and secondary. A primary pneumothorax is considered the one that occurs without an apparent cause and in the absence of significant lung disease. On the other hand secondary pneumothorax occurs in the presence of existing lung pathology. There is the case where an amount of air in the chest increases markedly and a one-way valve is formed leading to a tension pneumothorax. Unless reversed by effective treatment, this situation can progress and cause death. Pneumothorax can be caused by physical trauma to the chest or as a complication of medical or surgical intervention (biopsy). Symptoms typically include chest pain and shortness of breath. Diagnosis of a pneumothorax requires a chest X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan. Small spontaneous pneumothoraces typically resolve without treatment and require only monitoring. In our current special issue we will present the definition, diagnosis and treatment of pneumothorax from different experts in the field, different countries and present different methods of treatment.

Keywords: Pneumothorax; medical thoracoscopy; secondary; spontaneous.

Publication types

  • Review