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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus
Talwar A., Hallifax R. J., Corcoran J. P., Psallidas I., Rahman N. M.
Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine and Oxford Respiratory Trials Unit, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford UK
Pneumothorax is defined as air within the pleural cavity. Tuberculosis was the predominant cause in the 19th century, but there are now an established number of aetiological causes of pneumothorax. Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) and secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) should be thought of as distinct entities with varied treatment and prognosis. Pneumothoraces are often diagnosed on clinical history and confirmed with a chest radiograph. With more advanced radiological techniques, these have complemented the understanding and management of more complex cases. In terms of management, high quality evidence supporting the basis of clinical decisions is very limited. Treatment varies widely even at a local level and is often based on best practice and expert opinion. In this review, we present and discuss the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, imaging techniques, and management (both conservative and interventional) of pneumothorax. Some brief tips will be given for management of pneumothorax in pregnancy and cystic fibrosis.