In pneumothorax, air or gas accumulates between the parietal and visceral pleurae, causing the lungs to collapse. The amount of air or gas trapped determines the degree of lung collapse. In some cases, venous return to the heart is impeded, causing a lifethreatening condition called tension pneumothorax.
What causes it
Spontaneous pneumothorax can result from:
- ruptured congenital blebs
- ruptured emphysematous bullae
- tubercular or malignant lesions that erode into the pleural space
- interstitial lung disease such as eosinophilic granuloma.
Traumatic pneumothorax can result from:
- insertion of a central venous access device
- thoracic surgery
- thoracentesis or closed access device
- penetrating chest injury
- transbronchial biopsy.