Pneumothorax ex vacuo

Pneumothorax ex vacuo is an uncommon complication of lobar lung collapse, particularly right upper lobe collapse.

Acute bronchial obstruction for any reason, such as bronchogenic carcinomas, mucous plugs, foreign bodies, or malpositioned endotracheal tubes, causes acute lobar collapse and a marked increase in negative intrapleural pressure around the collapsed lobe which results in gas being drawn into the pleural space around the collapsed lobe while the seal between the visceral and parietal pleura remains intact.

The pneumothorax spontaneously resolves when the bronchial obstruction is relieved and the lobe re-expands. Treatment is alleviation of the obstruction and chest drain insertion is not usually required.

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Article information

rID: 36767
System: Chest
Tags: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ex vacuo pneumothorax

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