Pneumothorax natural history

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hamid Qazi, MD, BSc [2]

Overview

The prognosis varies with the cause of pneumothorax; primary spontaneous pneumothorax have the most favorable prognosis. The symptoms of pneumothorax usually develop in any decade of life, and start with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Uncomplicated pneumothorax usually resolve within 10 days. Secondary pneumothorax is dependent on the underlying cause and can continue to reoccur. If tension pneumothorax is not recognized it will lead to death. Common complications of pneumothorax include recurrence, cardiovascular collapse, and pneumo-mediastinum.

Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis

Natural History

  • If left untreated, patients with tension pneumothorax may progress to develop death.

Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax

  • Uncomplicated pneumothorax usually resolve within 10 days.
  • Recurrence occurs within 6 months.[1]

Secondary Spontaneous Pneumothorax

Tension Pneumothorax=

  • If left untreated, patients with tension pneumothorax may progress to develop death.

Complications

Prognosis

The prognosis of pneumothorax is as follows:[5]

  • The prognosis varies with the cause of pneumothorax; primary spontaneous pneumothorax have the most favorable prognosis.[2]
  • Primary spontaneous pneumothorax resolves within 10 days without treatment.
  • Secondary pneumothorax is dependant on the underlying cause and can continue to reoccur.
  • If tension pneumothorax is not recognized it will lead to death.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Huang, Tsai-Wang; Lee, Shih-Chun; Cheng, Yeung-Leung; Tzao, Ching; Hsu, Hsian-He; Chang, Hung; Chen, Jen-Chih (2007). "Contralateral Recurrence of Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax". Chest. 132 (4): 1146–1150. doi:10.1378/chest.06-2772. ISSN 0012-3692.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sharma, Anita; Jindal, Parul (2008). "Principles of diagnosis and management of traumatic pneumothorax". Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock. 1 (1): 34. doi:10.4103/0974-2700.41789. ISSN 0974-2700.
  3. Sadikot RT, Greene T, Meadows K, Arnold AG (1997). "Recurrence of primary spontaneous pneumothorax". Thorax. 52 (9): 805–9. PMC 1758641. PMID 9371212.
  4. Rezende-Neto, J.B.; Hoffmann, J.; Al Mahroos, M.; Tien, H.; Hsee, L.C.; Spencer Netto, F.; Speers, V.; Rizoli, S.B. (2010). "Occult pneumomediastinum in blunt chest trauma: Clinical significance". Injury. 41 (1): 40–43. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2009.06.161. ISSN 0020-1383.
  5. Sahn, Steven A.; Heffner, John E. (2000). "Spontaneous Pneumothorax". New England Journal of Medicine. 342 (12): 868–874. doi:10.1056/NEJM200003233421207. ISSN 0028-4793.



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