Pneumothorax on CT

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Pneumothorax on CT

  • A pneumothorax can sometimes be difficult to detect on a standard chest X-ray and further imaging with CT may be necessary
  • Expiratory chest X-rays are not considered to be of additional benefit in the routine assessment of pneumothorax (see British Thoracic Society for up to date guidelines) - occasionally CT may be required if there is diagnostic uncertainty which shows even the smallest pneumothorax
  • Note that air density (black) is the same inside and outside the chest
  • Red area = Pneumothorax
  • Curved arrow = Compressed lung segment

Page author: Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust UK (Read bio)

Last reviewed: October 2019