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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2012 October;171(5):661-3

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Giant bulla or tension pneumothorax: A diagnostic challenge

Khan N. A. 1, Baneen U. 1, Akhtar J. 1, Shameem M. 1, Bhargava R. 1, Ahmed Z. 1, Siddiqui M. A. 2

1 Department of Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, U.P. India; 2 Department of Radiology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, U.P. India


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Giant bulla may mimic tension pneumothorax on chest radiograph and the differentiation between them may be very difficult. The history and physical examination is very important in differentiating between giant bulla and tension pneumothorax. A 53 year old male patient presented with complain of progressive dyspnea over the last six months. His chest radiograph postero-anterior view showed wide radiolucent view occupying whole of the left hemithorax with shift of the mediastinum towards right side, reported by radiologist as tension pneumothorax. High resolution computed tomography of the chest showed a giant bulla occupying whole of the left hemithorax. Left thoracotomy and bullectomy was done.

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