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Spontaneous Pneumothorax

Spartan Nude-Thor-axe
Picmonic
Spontaneous pneumothorax occurs due to rupture of a subpleural emphysematous bleb that leads to the accumulation of air in the pleural space. It is more common in tall and thin young males.
9 KEY FACTS
MECHANISM
Accumulation of air in pleural space
Air in Space between Lungs and Chest-wall

Due to rupture of of apical blebs, air accumulates in the pleural space.

Tall and thin young males
Tall, Thin, and Young Male

Spontaneous pneumothorax is more common in taller and thinner individuals.

Underlying Disease
Underlying Diseased-villain

Spontaneous pneumothorax is more common in individuals with underlying disease of the small airways. Examples of this include interstitial lung disease, infection of the lung, lung cancer, COPD, and connective tissue diseases.

Bleb or Bulla rupture
Bulb and Bull from Rupture

The mechanism for formation of these blebs or bulla is unknown but have been attributed to congenital abnormalities, inflammation of the bronchioles and disturbances of the collateral ventilation.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Chest Pain
Chest Pain-bolt

Dyspnea and chest pain are the most common symptoms.

Hypoxemia
Hippo-blood-O2

Ventilation-perfusion mismatch can lead to decreased PaO2.

Decreased Breath Sounds
Down-arrow Muffled Lungs

Decreased breath sounds are heard due to presence of air in the pleural space.

Hyperresonance
Hiker-resonating

Increased intrapleural pressure can lead to hyperresonance on percussion.

Shortness of Breath (SOB)
S.O.B.

Dyspnea (SOB) and chest pain are the most common symptoms.

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