Traumatic pneumatoceles

Case contributed by Henry Knipe


High speed motor vehicle collision.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Male

Groundglass opacity in the right upper, middle and lower lobes with multifocal thin walled cysts.

Small volume right apical pneumothorax. Fractures of the anterolateral right second, third, fourth and fifth ribs.

Two month follow-up


Previously noted right sided pulmonary traumatic pneumatocoeles with surrounding hemorrhage have resolved. Right rib fractures demonstrate callus and near-complete bony union. No new focal pulmonary parenchymal or pleural abnormality.

Case Discussion

In the setting of trauma, the cystic spaces are traumatic pneumatoceles with the areas of ground glass opacity consistent with small pulmonary contusions. These changes resolved on the two-month follow-up, which is to be expected. 

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