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J Thorac Dis. 2014 Mar;6 Suppl 1:S152-61. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.03.05.

Pneumothorax and asthma.

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1
1 Pulmonary Department-Oncology Unit, "G. Papanikolaou" General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece ; 2 Anaesthesiology Department, "Saint Luke" Private Clinic, Thessaloniki, Panorama, Greece ; 3 Onocology Department, "Saint Luke" Private Clinic, Thessaloniki, Panorama, Greece ; 4 Cardiology Department, "Saint Luke" Private Clinic, Thessaloniki, Panorama, Greece ; 5 Cardiothoracic Surgery Department, "Saint Luke" Private Clinic, Thessaloniki, Panorama, Greece ; 6 Surgery Department (NHS), University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece ; 7 Internal Medicine Department, "Theageneio" Cancer Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece ; 8 2nd Cardiac Surgery Department, "Evangelismos" General Hospital, Athens, Greece ; 9 Electrophysiology Department, "Saint Luke" Private Clinic, Thessaloniki, Panorama, Greece.

Abstract

This review is focused on the relationship between asthma, pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum while presenting a number of case reports that include these conditions. The association between pneumothorax and asthma is not widely known. While asthma includes a common disorder and is prevalent worldwide, its morbidity and mortality is high when is associated with pneumothorax. Furthermore, the delayed diagnosis of pneumothorax while focusing on asthma includes the higher risk of coincidental pneumothorax in asthmatic patients. In addition, pneumomediastinum is considered benign and self-limiting condition that responds to conservative therapy. Although it is rare, the concurrence of pneumomediastinum with pneumothorax may prove fatal during a serious asthma attack. In conclusion, the symptoms of chest pain, dyspnea or focal chest findings when presented in asthmatic patients, must always create suspicion of pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum to the physician.

KEYWORDS:

Asthma; intervention; pneumothorax

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