Pneumothorax: Experience with 1,199 patients

Dov Weissberg, Yael Refaely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Objectives: To study the outcome of pneumothorax managed in a university-affiliated metropolitan medical center. Design: A retrospective review. Setting: Busy metropolitan medical center. Patients and methods: Records of 1,199 patients with pneumothorax were reviewed and analyzed. Results: Primary spontaneous pneumothorax occurred in 218 patients, secondary spontaneous pneumothorax occurred in 505, traumatic in 403, and iatrogenic in 73. Ninety-six patients with small pneumothorax (8%) were managed by observation, and 1,103 patients (92%) were managed by tube thoracostomy. Drainage of the pleural cavity was continued for I to 7 days in 893 patients (81%), 8 to 10 days in 176 patients (16%), and > 10 days in 34 patients (3%). Drainage for > 10 days was classified as persistent pneumothorax. In these 34 patients and in 132 others with a second ipsilateral recurrence (a total of 166 patients), direct pleuroscopy was performed. The pleuroscopy findings and further management are outlined in the algorithm. Conclusions: Pneumothorax is a common condition affecting all age groups. If the volume of the pneumothorax is > 20% of the pleural space, pleural drainage is indicated. For management of persistent or recurrent pneumothorax, the use of pleuroscopy (direct or video-assisted) is of great value and should be part of routine management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1285
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Pleuroscopy
  • Pneumothorax
  • Spontaneous pneumothorax
  • Traumatic pneumothorax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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