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Management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax

Noppen, Marc MD, PhD

Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: July 2003 - Volume 9 - Issue 4 - pp 272-275
Diseases of the pleura

The optimal management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax remains the subject of considerable controversy. During the last few years, however, interesting new data on pathogenesis and various treatment techniques have been published, which have led to the publication of some interesting and thought-provoking opinion articles. The author reviews the latest developments in pneumothorax pathophysiology and management.

Abbreviations:ELC emphysemalike changes, PSP primary spontaneous pneumothorax

Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is a common pathology with an age-adjusted incidence of approximately 10 cases per 100,000 population. Nevertheless, the exact pathophysiology of PSP remains unclear regarding the exact site of the air leaks, its underlying disease process, and its precipitating causes, and thus the optimal management techniques and strategy. Furthermore, the relative lack of prospective, comparative, randomized studies, and the differences in “management philosophy” between pulmonologists and surgeons (or other caretakers such as emergency physicians, internists, radiologists, and so forth) are some of the reasons for today's controversies. I review recent advances in and current knowledge of the causes and management of PSP.

Interventional Endoscopy Clinic Academic Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.

Correspondence to Marc Noppen, MD, PhD, Head, Interventional Endoscopy Clinic Academic Hospital AZ-VUB 101, Laarbeeklaan B 1090 Brussels, Belgium; e-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.