Pneumon 2019, 32(4):144-154
Authors Information
1Associate Professor
2Late Additional Professor
3Professor and Head
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, 
TN Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai, India
Itardvin coined the term pneumothorax in the year 1803 and Laennec described its clinical features in 1819. It is defined as the presence of air or gas in the pleural cavity. Pneumothorax can be primary or secondary depending on underlying lung condition. This can be further classified as spontaneous, iatrogenic and traumatic. Primary spontaneous pneumothorax described by Kjaergard in 1932; occurs in people without underlying lung disease and in the absence of an inciting event. Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) occurs in people with a wide variety of parenchymal lung diseases. Occasionally, the amount of air in the chest increases markedly when a one-way valve is formed by an area of damaged tissue leading to a tension pneumothorax and can present as a medical emergency. Symptoms are related to the amount of air present in the pleural cavity and underlying etiology. They typically include chest pain and shortness of breath. Diagnosis by physical examination alone can be difficult or inconclusive particularly in smaller pneumothoraces and X-ray chest or computed tomography (CT) scan is usually used to confirm its presence. Small spontaneous pneumothoraces typically resolve without treatment and require only monitoring. Larger pneumothoraces where patients are symptomatic needs intervention with simple needle aspiration, pigtail catheterization or intercostal drainage tubes.