Pneumothorax is the presence of air in the pleural cavity surrounding the lung. This collection of air restricts the expansion of the lung, causing difficulty breathing.
Pneumothorax may be classified as spontaneous or non-spontaneous.
A spontaneous pneumothorax occurs with no apparent trauma to the chest wall and may be further classified as primary or secondary.
Primary spontaneous pneumothorax occurs most often in patients with no history of lung disease and is often due to rupture of a bleb or bulla. A history of smoking increases the risk of spontaneous pneumothorax, such as infection, chronic obstructive lung disorder (COPD), or lung cancer.
Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax typically occurs in patients with underlying lung pathology.
Non-spontaneous pneumothorax can occur as a result of trauma to the chest wall, such as with blunt force, fractured rib, or penetrating trauma. Iatrogenic pneumothorax is also known to occur in patients undergoing...
References and Further Reading
- Paulman, P. M., Paulman, A. A., Harrison, J. D., Nasir, L. S., & Jarzynka, K. J. (2013). Taylor’s differential diagnosis manual: Symptoms and signs in the time-limited encounter. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar