Neurological Sciences

, Volume 40, Issue 12, pp 2509–2514 | Cite as

Under-recognized primary spontaneous pneumothorax in ALS: a multicenter retrospective study

  • Jin-Sung Park
  • Young Woo Do
  • Jin-Mo Park
  • Hung Youl Seok
  • Donghwi ParkEmail author
Original Article


Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is not an uncommon disease, especially in patients with risk factors such as male gender, history of smoking, and low body mass index (BMI). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare disease caused by neurodegeneration of the motor neurons that share risk factors with PSP. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of PSP in ALS and find the significant risk factors related to PSP. We retrospectively reviewed the data from 86 patients with clinically probable or definite ALS from three different centers. Clinical characteristics, including age, sex, subtype, disease duration, body mass index, history of smoking, tracheostomy state, and ventilator use, were obtained. The ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised Form (ALSFRS-R) total score and subscores were also retrieved from the medical records. In the results, six of the 86 patients (7%) had PSP. There were no statistically significant differences among the clinical characteristics and the ALSFRS-R scores between the patients with and without PSP, except for BMI and smoking (p < 0.022 and p < 0.019, respectively). A multivariate logistic regression analysis of smoking and BMI showed an odds ratio of 19.25. In conclusion, the existence of PSP in ALS may be under-recognized. Further well-designed, large studies are needed to elucidate the prevalence and pathophysiology of pneumothorax in ALS.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Dyspnea Pneumothorax Smoking Body mass index 


Funding information

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF-2017R1D1A1B03033127). This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science and ICT) (No. 2017R1C1B5076264).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National UniversityKyungpook National University Chilgok hospitalDaeguSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular SurgeryKyungpook National University HospitalDaeguSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyDongguk University College of MedicineGyeongjuSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyKeimyung University School of MedicineDaeguSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Daegu Fatima HospitalDaeguRepublic of Korea

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