Send to

Choose Destination
Chest. 2007 Oct;132(4):1140-5. Epub 2007 Sep 21.

The prevalence of blebs or bullae among young healthy adults: a thoracoscopic investigation.

Author information

University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital, (Civic Campus), Division of Respirology, 1053 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y 4E9.



To determine the prevalence of blebs or bullae using thoracoscopy in young healthy adults, and to compare patient characteristics among those with and without blebs.


Bilateral thoracoscopic evaluation of the lungs was performed in healthy individuals who were referred for thoracoscopic thoracic sympathectomy for essential hyperhidrosis. Participants were enrolled into a registry and followed for up to 9 years.


Analysis was performed on 250 consecutive cases. Blebs were observed in 15 of 250 individuals (6%; male, n = 6; female, n = 9; mean age, 25.3 years; range, 15 to 51 years). Individuals with blebs had a significantly lower body mass index (BMI) [mean +/- SD, 20.7 +/- 2.4 kg/m(2) vs 22.7 +/- 3.4 kg/m(2); p = 0.027] when compared to individuals without blebs, whereas all other parameters were similar. Blebs were most prevalent among slim individuals (BMI < 22 kg/m(2)) who smoked (odds ratio, 5.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.19 to 29.20).


Blebs were identified thoracoscopically in 6% of young healthy adults with no underlying lung disease. Low BMI in combination with smoking may have an important role in the development of pleural blebs in healthy young adults; however, these changes may not be responsible for future spontaneous pneumothoraces.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center