What is Pneumothorax?

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Pneumothorax is the presence of air in the pleural cavity, which disturbs the intrapleural negative pressure balance and causes the lung to collapse. It is one of the most common lung diseases treated in hospitals around the world and is responsible for 20% of admissions to a Thoracic Surgery Service.

The incidence of pneumothorax is very varied, ranging from 4.2-16.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants/year (men, 24, and women, 9.8).

Pneumothorax is classified into:

  • Spontaneous:
    • When there is no underlying lung disease, primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) can appear, often in adolescents and young adults.
    • Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) occurs when there is underlying lung disease (usually adults with COPD).
    • Catamenial is in relation to the menstrual cycle in women.
  • Acquired (traumatic and iatrogenic).
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