A pneumothorax can present as a medical emergency requiring urgent intervention. Although the incidence of a primary spontaneous pneumothorax is low, it is an especially serious complication in patients on positive pressure ventilation, and carries a high mortality. However, closely mimicking them are pseudo-pneumothoraxes, which must be differentiated because they are almost always benign and interventions in such patients may be catastrophic including the formation of a tension pneumothorax. We review a similar case and discuss methods to differentiate the two.
Aejaz Ul Haq, Victor H Kha, Kellie R Jones
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