Spontaneous pneumothorax

Case contributed by Jeremy Jones
Diagnosis certain


Shortness of breath and pleuritic chest pain. No trauma. No significant past medical history.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Male

Large left pneumothorax with the whole lung collapsed towards the hilum.


A Seldinger chest drain has been inserted without complication into the left hemithorax. TIp points towards hilum in the middle zone. The pneumothorax has not been drained completely yet - the apex of the lung is at the level of the 5th posterior rib.

Case Discussion

The initial chest x-ray confirms a large pneumothorax. A Seldinger-type drain has been inserted with partial lung re-expansion. Drainage of the pneumothorax continued and there was no complication.

An underlying cause was not found. The young chap recovered uneventfully, the drain was removed and he was discharged home.

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