ICU Chest Films > Air in the Chest > Pneumothorax


Pneumothorax is air in the pleural space, often from a punctured lung. Pneumothorax is a common complication of invasive procedures such as central line placement, especially in the mechanically ventilated patient. Barotrauma also can lead to pneumothorax, complicating the intubated patient's medical course. The air may also arrive at the intrapleural space by rupture of alveoli (blebs), extension of a pneumomediastinum, or communication with extrathoracic air following trauma or surgery.

Apicolateral pneumothorax (arrows) with right upper lobe collapse (arrowheads).

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