Pneumothorax as a first manifestation of sarcoidosis

Chest. 1997 Jul;112(1):278-80. doi: 10.1378/chest.112.1.278.


Pneumothorax is a rare manifestation of sarcoidosis, occurring usually late in the course of the disease. We report five cases of pneumothorax as a presenting manifestation of sarcoidosis. In two patients, thoracotomy showed extensive pleural infiltration by noncaseating granulomas. High-resolution CT scans showed cavitated subpleural nodules and subpleural bullae in one case. These findings support that necrosis of subpleural granulomas or rupture of a subpleural bullae, or both, are the mechanisms of pneumothorax in sarcoidosis. Three patients with a lung function impairment were treated with oral corticosteroids. One nontreated patient died due to progression of the disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumothorax / etiology*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed