- Accumulation of air in the pleural space.
- Primary spontaneous pneumothoraces occur in young people without known respiratory illnesses. Patients with pre-existing pulmonary diseases may develop secondary spontaneous pneumothoraces.
- A tension pneumothorax is a medical emergency that requires immediate intervention to decompress the involved hemithorax.
- Patients with pneumothoraces typically complain of dyspnoea and chest pain. In tension pneumothorax, patients are distressed with rapid laboured respirations, cyanosis, profuse diaphoresis, and tachycardia.
- First-line treatment of pneumothoraces includes observation with supplemental oxygen therapy, percutaneous aspiration of the air in the pleural space, chest-tube thoracostomy, and in some cases video-assisted thoracoscopy or thoracostomy.
- Patients who suffer spontaneous pneumothoraces are at risk for recurrence. Pleurodesis (either by mechanical abrasion or by chemical irritation of pleural surfaces) is used to limit the likelihood of recurrence.
ultimo aggiornamento: set 10, 2012