Spontaneous pneumothorax secondary to COPD

Case contributed by Henry Knipe
Diagnosis certain


Sudden onset chest pain.

Patient Data

Age: 80 years
Gender: Male

Large left pneumothorax with no midline shift to suggest tension. Lungs are hyperinflated in keeping with COPD.

Large left pneumothorax on a background of emphysematous changes and subpleural bullae at the apices. Left lower lobe nodule. 

Case Discussion

Pneumothoraces can be spontaneous or traumatic/iatrogenic. When spontaneous they can be primary or secondary to underlying lung disease. This is an example of a secondary spontaneous pneumothorax due to emphysema.

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