Hydropneumothorax

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle

Presentation

Sudden shortness of breath. No trauma.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male
X-ray

Large right hydropneumothorax with collapsed right lung and mediastinal shift.

Left lung clear. Heart size normal.

Normal bony thorax.

Case Discussion

This was a spontaneous hydropneumothorax, subsequently managed with pleural drain insertion.

The straight air-fluid level is the typical appearance of a hydropneumothorax, as opposed to a meniscus observed in a pleural effusion.

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