Catheter aspiration for simple pneumothorax

J Emerg Med. 1986;4(6):437-42. doi: 10.1016/0736-4679(86)90172-1.


A prospective study was conducted in the emergency setting to determine the efficacy of treatment of simple pneumothorax by catheter aspiration. Patients who were successfully treated were discharged to home. Sixty-one patients with a total of 76 pneumothoraces were involved in the study. The overall success rate was 75.6%, with an 82% success rate for needle-induced, 75% for traumatic, and 45% for spontaneous pneumothorax. The duration of symptoms, the size of the pneumothorax, the patient's age, and a prior history of pneumothorax did not affect the outcome. The poorest results were noted with spontaneous pneumothoraces, as would be expected since a majority of these patients have preexistent lung disease. Catheter aspiration of simple pneumothorax offers a cost-effective approach to this clinical problem.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catheterization / instrumentation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleura
  • Pneumothorax / etiology
  • Pneumothorax / surgery*
  • Suction / methods