Recurrent Spontaneous Pneumothoraces and Vaping in an 18-year-old man

A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Alex Bonilla; Alexander J. Blair; Suliman M. Alamro; Rebecca A. Ward; Michael B. Feldman; Richard A. Dutko; Theodora K. Karagounis; Adam L. Johnson; Erik E. Folch; Jatin M. Vyas


J Med Case Reports. 2019;13(283) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Primary spontaneous pneumothorax is a common disorder occurring in young adults without underlying lung disease. Although tobacco smoking is a well-documented risk factor for spontaneous pneumothorax, an association between electronic cigarette use (that is, vaping) and spontaneous pneumothorax has not been noted. We report a case of spontaneous pneumothoraces correlated with vaping.

Case presentation: An 18-year-old Caucasian man presented twice with recurrent right-sided spontaneous pneumothoraces within 2 weeks. He reported a history of vaping just prior to both episodes. Diagnostic testing was notable for a right-sided spontaneous pneumothorax on chest X-ray and computed tomography scan. His symptoms improved following insertion of a chest tube and drainage of air on each occasion. In the 2-week follow-up visit for the recurrent episode, he was asymptomatic and reported that he was no longer using electronic cigarettes.

Conclusions: Providers and patients should be aware of the potential risk of spontaneous pneumothorax associated with electronic cigarettes.