What are the options for restoring air-free plural space in pneumothorax?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Several options are available to restore an air-free pleural space, including observation without oxygen, administering supplemental oxygen, simple aspiration, chest tube placement, one-way valve insertion, and thoracostomy with continuous suction. (See the video of chest tube insertion, below.)

Insertion of chest tube. Video courtesy of Therese Canares, MD, and Jonathan Valente, MD, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University.

Contou et al recommend that clinicians consider drainage via a small-bore catheter as a first-line treatment for pneumothorax of any cause. The authors found that drainage via catheter or via chest tube is similarly effective for the management for the management of pneumothoraces, including primary spontaneous pneumothorax, secondary spontaneous pneumothorax, and traumatic and iatrogenic pneumothoraces. [55]

See also Restoring Air-Free Pleural Space in Pneumothorax.

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