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Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci. 2004 Jul-Sep;46(3):183-90.

Role of simple needle aspiration in the management of pneumothorax.

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  • 1Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.



To determine the role of simple needle aspiration in the management of pneumothorax.


All patients presenting with a pneumothorax requiring intervention were included in this prospective study. Patients who were very sick or had tension pneumothorax were treated with direct intercostal chest tube drainage (ICTD) and others were subjected to simple aspiration. The procedure was deemed successful, if after aspiration the lung expanded completely or symptoms were relieved with residual pneumothorax of less than 15% of hemithorax. In case of failed aspiration ICTD was carried out.


Fifty-seven patients with 59 pneumothoraces were included in the study. Of these, 24 were treated with direct ICTD; 35 (12 spontaneous, 11 secondary and 12 iatrogenic pneumothoraces) were subjected to simple aspiration. Ten (83.3%) of the primary, 1 (9.6%) of the secondary and 11 (91.7%) of the iatrogenic pneumothoraces responded to simple aspiration. There were no significant complications. The pain perceived and the duration of hospital stay was significantly lesser in the simple aspiration group.


Simple aspiration should be the initial modality of treatment for primary spontaneous and iatrogenic pneumothoraces. For secondary spontaneous pneumothorax and in conditions where pleurodesis is indicated, ICTD remains the treatment of choice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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