COPD bilateral pneumothoraces

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COPD bilateral pneumothoraces

  • (Same patient as next image)
  • A pneumothorax can arise spontaneously without underlying lung disease (spontaneous/primary pneumothorax).
  • Often there is underlying lung disease such as COPD (spontaneous/secondary pneumothorax).
  • Rib fractures and thoracic instrumentation (iatrogenic) are the other common causes.
  • This patient has very severe emphysema. The edge of multiple bullae are visible (curved lines).
  • The lung edge is also clearly seen on the right, but if there is a pneumothorax on one side don't forget to look at the other side. This patient has bilateral pneumothoraces (asterisks).

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

Last reviewed: October 2019