How is atelectasis differentiated from pneumothorax?

Updated: Oct 22, 2020
  • Author: Tarun Madappa, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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Answer

A pneumothorax can produce patient complaints similar to atelectasis. However, on physical examination, the percussion note is hyper-resonant and the heart and mediastinum are pushed to the opposite side. Chest radiographs are diagnostic.


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