Cavitating pneumonia complicated by pneumothorax

Case contributed by Dr Henry Knipe


Left chest pain, productive cough and fevers. No past medical history.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

Left upper lobe airspace consolidation. Right lung is clear. No pleural fluid collection. Normal cardiomediastinal contour. 


Two days from initial chest x-ray

Left upper lobe consolidation has increased in size and cavitated. Adjacent linear lucency is suggestive of a pneumothorax. 


Three days from initial chest x-ray

Large left pneumothorax. Multifocal cavities within the left sided airspace opacification. Right lung is clear. No pleural effusion. 

Left pleural drain has been inserted with a small residual left pneumothorax. Left subcutaneous emphysema. Left lung has reinflated with increased left lung opacity to previous. 

Case Discussion

S. aureus was cultured from sputum, and is a common causes of necrotizing/cavitating pneumonia. Pneumothoraces are an uncommon complication. 

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Case information

rID: 48149
Published: 21st Sep 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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